Why was clemency trending last week?


[krip-tik] /ˈkrɪp tɪk/
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.
Origin of cryptic
1595-1605; < Late Latin crypticus < Greek kryptikós hidden. See crypt, -ic
Related forms
cryptically, adverb
noncryptic, adjective
noncryptical, adjective
noncryptically, adverb
1. enigmatic, perplexing. See ambiguous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for cryptically
  • 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.
  • Think about receiving a box of cryptically labeled floppy disks.
  • Alameda whipsnakes are cryptically colored, secretive, and notoriously sensitive to human activities.
  • Eggs and chicks are cryptically colored and well-concealed under vegetation, debris, or rocks.
  • Giant garter snakes are cryptically colored, secretive, and notoriously sensitive to human activities.
  • They may occur cryptically in isolation or in the vicinity of females.
  • When they are out of their shelters, they are cryptically colored and shaped.
British Dictionary definitions for cryptically


hidden; secret; occult
(esp of comments, sayings, etc) obscure in meaning
(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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for cryptically



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
Cite This Source
cryptically in Medicine

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

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for cryptic

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for cryptically

Scrabble Words With Friends