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cryptic

[krip-tik] /ˈkrɪp tɪk/
adjective, Also, cryptical
1.
mysterious in meaning; puzzling; ambiguous:
a cryptic message.
2.
abrupt; terse; short:
a cryptic note.
3.
secret; occult:
a cryptic writing.
4.
involving or using cipher, code, etc.
5.
Zoology. fitted for concealing; serving to camouflage.
noun
6.
a cryptogram, especially one designed as a puzzle.
Origin of cryptic
1595-1605
1595-1605; < Late Latin crypticus < Greek kryptikós hidden. See crypt, -ic
Related forms
cryptically, adverb
noncryptic, adjective
noncryptical, adjective
noncryptically, adverb
Synonyms
1. enigmatic, perplexing. See ambiguous.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cryptic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Stand for what, my esteemed but cryptic fellow-practitioner?

    The Crux Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • "A Wade check is always honored," was his cryptic assertion.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • With these cryptic words he slid off the bed, taking with him the large old-fashioned Bible which always lay by Nanna's bedside.

    What Timmy Did Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes
  • "Conditions have not been wholly favorable," was the cryptic reply.

    It's All Yours Sam Merwin
  • It is no longer a detail of the Strand, but a cryptic symbol of human life.

    Prose Fancies (Second Series) Richard Le Gallienne
British Dictionary definitions for cryptic

cryptic

/ˈkrɪptɪk/
adjective
1.
hidden; secret; occult
2.
(esp of comments, sayings, etc) obscure in meaning
3.
(of the coloration of animals) tending to conceal by disguising or camouflaging the shape
Derived Forms
cryptically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin crypticus, from Greek kruptikos, from kruptos concealed; see crypt
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 cryptic
adj.

1630s, "hidden, occult, mystical," from Late Latin crypticus, from Greek kryptikos "fit for concealing," from kryptos "hidden" (see crypt). Meaning "mysterious, enigmatic" is recorded from 1920. Related: Cryptically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cryptic in Medicine

cryptic cryp·tic (krĭp'tĭk)
n.

  1. Hidden or concealed.

  2. Tending to conceal or camouflage, as the coloring of an animal.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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