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arcanum

[ahr-key-nuh m] /ɑrˈkeɪ nəm/
noun, plural arcana
[ahr-key-nuh] /ɑrˈkeɪ nə/ (Show IPA)
1.
Often, arcana. a secret; mystery.
2.
a supposed great secret of nature that the alchemists sought to discover.
3.
a secret and powerful remedy.
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; < Latin, neuter (used as noun) of arcānus arcane
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for arcana
  • Become an instant expert of football's regulations and arcana.
  • He deftly makes computer arcana palatable, even interesting.
  • Suddenly, the legal arcana, courtroom theatrics and judicial niceties are bathed in a political veneer.
British Dictionary definitions for arcana

arcana

/ɑːˈkeɪnə; -ˈkɑː-/
noun
1.
either of the two divisions (the minor arcana and the major arcana) of a pack of tarot cards

arcanum

/ɑːˈkeɪnəm/
noun (pl) -na (-nə)
1.
(sometimes pl) a profound secret or mystery known only to initiates
2.
a secret of nature sought by alchemists
Word Origin
C16: from Latin; see arcane
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for arcana
n.

"hidden things, mysteries," 1590s, a direct adoption of the Latin plural of arcanum "a secret, a mystery," from neuter of adjective arcanus "secret, hidden, private, concealed" (see arcane). Occasionally mistaken for a singular and pluralized as arcanas because arcana is far more common than arcanum.

arcanum

n.

proper singular form of arcana.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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8
10
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