adjective Also, cryptical.
mysterious in meaning; puzzling; ambiguous: a cryptic message.
abrupt; terse; short: a cryptic note.
secret; occult: a cryptic writing.
involving or using cipher, code, etc.
Zoology. fitted for concealing; serving to camouflage.
a cryptogram, especially one designed as a puzzle.

1595–1605; < Late Latin crypticus < Greek kryptikós hidden. See crypt, -ic

cryptically, adverb
noncryptic, adjective
noncryptical, adjective
noncryptically, adverb

1. enigmatic, perplexing. See ambiguous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To cryptically
World English Dictionary
cryptic or cryptical (ˈkrɪptɪk)
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
[C17: from Late Latin crypticus, from Greek kruptikos, from kruptos concealed; see crypt]
cryptical or cryptical
[C17: from Late Latin crypticus, from Greek kruptikos, from kruptos concealed; see crypt]
'cryptically or cryptical

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1630s, "hidden, occult, mystical," from L. crypticus, from Gk. kryptikos "fit for concealing," from kryptos "hidden" (see crypt). Meaning "mysterious, enigmatic" is recorded from 1920. Related: Cryptically.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

cryptic cryp·tic (krĭp'tĭk)

  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.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
It depicts the aftermath of a war, with villagers describing their experiences,
  often cryptically.
These are cryptically inbred, perhaps their parents were cousins, or some of
  their grandparents were cousins.
Others spoke cryptically to avoid arousing the suspicion of listening ears.
Cryptically colored with natural camouflage the swamp darter is well suited to
  its environment.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature