Word of the Day

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

arcane

\ar-KAYN\ , adjective;
1.
Understood or known by only a few.
Quotes:
There are other arcane traditions that seem like superstitions to us, or, perhaps, are simply lost in translation. Some cyclists, for instance, believe that riders should shower instead of bathe because in some way water weight from baths is absorbed.
-- Allen Barra, "Tour de Lance", Wall Street Journal, July 28, 2009
While addressing a problem in the arcane field of mathematical logic, he imagined a machine that could mimic human reasoning.
-- Paul Gray, "Alan Turing", Time Pacific, March 29, 1999
Practitioners of this arcane art combine highly abstract mathematical deduction with some of the basic behavioral assumptions of micro-economics to produce theories of the behavior of voters, of representative assemblies, of bureaucracies, and even of courts.
-- Jerry L. Mashaw, Greed, Chaos, and Governance
Origin:
Arcane comes from Latin arcanus, "shut, closed, secret," from arca, "chest, box."
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