[ ahr-keyn ]
/ ɑrˈkeɪn /


known or understood by very few; mysterious; secret; obscure; esoteric: She knew a lot about Sanskrit grammar and other arcane matters.

Origin of arcane

1540–50; (< Middle French) < Latin arcānus, equivalent to arc(ēre) to shut up, keep (derivative of arca a chest, box) + -ānus -an Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for arcane

British Dictionary definitions for arcane

/ (ɑːˈkeɪn) /


requiring secret knowledge to be understood; mysterious; esoteric

Derived forms of arcane

arcanely, adverbarcaneness, noun

Word Origin for arcane

C16: from Latin arcānus secret, hidden, from arcēre to shut up, keep safe
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