Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

arcanum

[ahr-key-nuh m]
See more synonyms for arcanum on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural ar·ca·na [ahr-key-nuh] /ɑrˈkeɪ nə/.
  1. Often arcana. a secret; mystery.
  2. a supposed great secret of nature that the alchemists sought to discover.
  3. a secret and powerful remedy.
Show More

Origin of arcanum

1590–1600; < Latin, neuter (used as noun) of arcānus arcane
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for arcana

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for arcana

arcana

noun
  1. either of the two divisions (the minor arcana and the major arcana) of a pack of tarot cards
Show More

arcanum

noun plural -na (-nə)
  1. (sometimes plural) a profound secret or mystery known only to initiates
  2. a secret of nature sought by alchemists
Show More

Word Origin

C16: from Latin; see arcane
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 arcana

n.

"hidden things, mysteries," 1590s, a direct adoption of the Latin plural of arcanum "a secret, a mystery," from neuter of adjective arcanus "secret, hidden, private, concealed" (see arcane). Occasionally mistaken for a singular and pluralized as arcanas because arcana is far more common than arcanum.

Show More

arcanum

n.

proper singular form of arcana.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper