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enigmatic

[en-ig-mat-ik, ee-nig-]
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adjective
  1. resembling an enigma, or a puzzling occurrence, situation, statement, person, etc.; perplexing; mysterious: She has a perpetually enigmatic expression on her face. This is the most enigmatic book I have ever read!
Also en·ig·mat·i·cal.

Origin of enigmatic

1620–30; < Late Latin aenigmaticus < Greek ainigmatikós, equivalent to ainigmat- (stem of aínigma) enigma + -ikos -ic
Related formsen·ig·mat·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·en·ig·mat·ic, adjectivenon·en·ig·mat·i·cal, adjectivenon·en·ig·mat·i·cal·ly, adverbun·en·ig·mat·ic, adjectiveun·en·ig·mat·i·cal, adjectiveun·en·ig·mat·i·cal·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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puzzling, baffling, cryptic.

Synonym study

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for enigmatic

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • There was an enigmatic smile bending the scarlet lips as she answered.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • All trace of stress and strain had left it, replaced by an enigmatic calm.

  • There was the enigmatic dimness, though not dense darkness, of the night.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • Had he been happily inspired to speak so to him of the girl he loved, the enigmatic Wilhelmine?

    A Nest of Spies

    Pierre Souvestre

  • There was an enigmatic smile on his lips whilst he awaited Juve's reply.

    A Nest of Spies

    Pierre Souvestre


Word Origin and History for enigmatic

adj.

1640s, from Late Latin aenigmaticus, from aenigmat-, stem of aenigma (see enigma). Enigmatical in the same sense is from 1570s. Related: Enigmatically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper