- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. enigmatic, perplexing.
1. See ambiguous.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for cryptical
The conductor opened the door and bawled a cryptical announcement.
To most of us the Bible has long been a work of profound mystery, cryptical, undecipherable.
Matters were in this cryptical state when the door opened and Father came in.New Treasure Seekers
E. (Edith) Nesbit
But else, and failing these cryptical or subterraneous currents of communication, for us the record is closed.
- 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
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
Word Origin and History for cryptical
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
- Hidden or concealed.
- 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.