Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Not easily understood; abstruse or obscure.
  • adjective Concealed; hidden.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Hidden from mental view; secret; abstruse: as, recondite causes of things.
  • Profound; dealing with things abstruse.
  • In botany, concealed; not easily seen.
  • In entomology, said of organs which are concealed in repose: opposed to exserted.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Hidden from the mental or intellectual view; secret; abstruse.
  • adjective Dealing in things abstruse; profound; searching.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Hidden from the mental or intellectual view; secret; abstruse.
  • adjective Dealing in things abstruse; profound; searching.
  • adjective Difficult to understand; known only by experts.
  • adjective Of a person: highly talented, a master of a field.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective difficult to penetrate; incomprehensible to one of ordinary understanding or knowledge

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin reconditus, past participle of recondere, to put away : re-, re- + condere, to put together, preserve; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin reconditus ("hidden, concealed"), past participle adjective of recondo ("to put back, re-establish; to hide away").

Examples

  • Meanwhile, the presence of Pietro d'Abano80 and Hippocrates reflects a special interest at Urbino in recondite principles of astrobiological medicine and its capacity to temper the constitutions of individuals.

    Architecture and Memory: The Renaissance Studioli of Federico da Montefeltro

  • Park in miles, in yards, and in acres, and the number of head of cattle which could be accommodated therein if it were to be utilized for grazing -- that is, turned into grass lands; or, if transformed into tillage, the number of small farmers who would be the proprietors of economic holdings -- that is, a recondite -- that is, an abstruse and a difficult scientific and sociological term.

    Mary, Mary

  • It's never helped me with the capital of Tajikistan or the definition of "recondite," but apparently it's got the goods on my hang-ups.

    Printing: Listen To My Body? I Don't Think So

  • It's never helped me with the capital of Tajikistan or the definition of "recondite," but apparently it's got the goods on my hang-ups.

    Listen To My Body? I Don't Think So

  • Like, the other day, in a social situation, somebody used the word "recondite" in conversation.

    Archive 2007-04-01

  • "It served as a kind of recondite, East Village version of camp, classical Hollywood."

    Advocate.com Daily News

  • "It served as a kind of recondite, East Village version of camp, classical Hollywood."

    Advocate.com Daily News

  • To him, a perfectly unintelligible will is a thing of beauty and a joy for ever; especially if associated with some kind of recondite knavery. "

    The Eye of Osiris

  • For a popular treatment of the somewhat recondite underpinnings of this thesis, see R.

    The Language Monitor

  • Yet the most recondite and potentially entertaining proposal in Scotland last week crept in unnoticed at the back door while everyone was trying to unravel Salmond's statutory orgy.

    Can we have a Stop Making Stupid Bills bill? | Kevin McKenna

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • From pompousasswords.com:

    Is not such recondite reasoning, leading to such opaque conclusions about such baroque regulations of speech, prima facie evidence of incompatibility with the austere brevity of the First Amendment?

    Could we find a more pompous ass passage this year? I don't think so. Of course, Bill Bennett is still out there.

    January 29, 2007

  • "...having sailed with Captain Aubrey since the turn of the century... he could now almost always discriminate between larboard and starboard: he prided himself extremely on his acquaintance with fore and aft and some even more recondite nautical terms."

    --Patrick O'Brian, The Ionian Mission, 18

    February 11, 2008

  • I recall this as an SAT-prep word

    August 16, 2008

  • From p. 25 of Patrick Leigh Fermor's "A Time to Keep Silence":

    Several monks were usually working in the library, reading and writing at the desks, or climbing the ladders in pursuit of recondite knowledge.

    January 21, 2014

  • difficult to penetrate; incomprehensible to one of ordinary understanding or knowledge

    I found Ulysses recondite and never finished the book, waiting instead to read it with someone else so we could penetrate its meaning together

    October 12, 2016