[ ahr-key-nuh m ]
/ ɑrˈkeɪ nəm /

noun, plural ar·ca·na [ahr-key-nuh] /ɑrˈkeɪ nə/.

Often arcana. a secret; mystery.
a supposed great secret of nature that the alchemists sought to discover.
a secret and powerful remedy.


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Origin of arcanum

1590–1600; < Latin, neuter (used as noun) of arcānus arcane Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for arcana

British Dictionary definitions for arcana (1 of 2)

/ (ɑːˈkeɪnə, -ˈkɑː-) /


either of the two divisions (the minor arcana and the major arcana) of a pack of tarot cards

British Dictionary definitions for arcana (2 of 2)

/ (ɑːˈkeɪnəm) /

noun plural -na (-nə)

(sometimes plural) a profound secret or mystery known only to initiates
a secret of nature sought by alchemists

Word Origin for arcanum

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