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[en-ig-mat-ik, ee-nig-] /ˌɛn ɪgˈmæt ɪk, ˌi nɪg-/
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, enigmatical.
Origin of enigmatic
1620-30; < Late Latin aenigmaticus < Greek ainigmatikós, equivalent to ainigmat- (stem of aínigma) enigma + -ikos -ic
Related forms
enigmatically, adverb
nonenigmatic, adjective
nonenigmatical, adjective
nonenigmatically, adverb
unenigmatic, adjective
unenigmatical, adjective
unenigmatically, adverb
puzzling, baffling, cryptic.
Synonym Study
See ambiguous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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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.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • There was the enigmatic dimness, though not dense darkness, of the night.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • There was an enigmatic smile on his lips whilst he awaited Juve's reply.

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
  • Had he been happily inspired to speak so to him of the girl he loved, the enigmatic Wilhelmine?

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
Word Origin and History for enigmatic

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
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