Word of the Day Archive
Wednesday August 11, 2004
plural arcana \-nuh\:
1. A secret; a mystery.
2. Specialized or mysterious knowledge, language, or information that is not accessible to the average person (generally used in the plural).
Through the years, Usenet evolved into an international forum on thousands of topics, called Usenet news groups, from the arcana of programming languages to European travel tips.
-- Katie Hafner, "James T. Ellis, 45, a Developer of Internet Discussion Network, Is Dead", New York Times, July 1, 2001
Here we must enter briefly into the technical arcana of employment law.
-- Paul F. Campos, JurismaniaThe Madness of American Law
Each arcanum, made visible or tangible by one of these paintings, is the formula of a law of human activity in its relationship with spiritual and material forces whose combination produces the phenomena of life.
-- Lida A. Churchill and Paul Christian, History and Practice of Magic
Arcanum is from the Latin, from arcanus "closed, secret," from arca, "chest, box," from arcere, "to shut in."