Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Word of the Year is...

cryptic

[krip-tik] /ˈkrɪp tɪk/
adjective, Also, cryptical
1.
mysterious in meaning; puzzling; ambiguous:
a cryptic message.
2.
abrupt; terse; short:
a cryptic note.
3.
secret; occult:
a cryptic writing.
4.
involving or using cipher, code, etc.
5.
Zoology. fitted for concealing; serving to camouflage.
noun
6.
a cryptogram, especially one designed as a puzzle.
Origin of cryptic
1595-1605
1595-1605; < Late Latin crypticus < Greek kryptikós hidden. See crypt, -ic
Related forms
cryptically, adverb
noncryptic, adjective
noncryptical, adjective
noncryptically, adverb
Synonyms
1. enigmatic, perplexing. See ambiguous.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for cryptically
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I can do more accurate work with this than the machine gun, he said cryptically.

    The Fifth-Dimension Tube William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • "They know," said Russ cryptically from his position in front of the vision plate.

    Empire Clifford Donald Simak
  • "Well, we'll see what we'll see," observed Miss Beaver cryptically, her mouth an ominous tight red line.

    Old Mr. Wiley Fanny Greye La Spina
  • "There are more ways of skinning a cat than one," he said cryptically.

    A Far Country, Complete Winston Churchill
  • "If more men were foolish, the world would get along a good deal better," said Aunt Jane cryptically.

    Aunt Jane Jennette Lee
British Dictionary definitions for cryptically

cryptic

/ˈkrɪptɪk/
adjective
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
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

cryptic

adj.

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)
n.

  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

0
26
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for cryptically