[ krip-tik ]
See synonyms for cryptic on
adjectiveAlso cryp·ti·cal.
  1. mysterious in meaning; puzzling; ambiguous: a cryptic message.

  2. abrupt; terse; short: a cryptic note.

  1. secret; occult: a cryptic writing.

  2. involving or using cipher, code, etc.

  3. Zoology. fitted for concealing; serving to camouflage.

  1. a cryptogram, especially one designed as a puzzle.

Origin of cryptic

1595–1605; <Late Latin crypticus<Greek kryptikós hidden. See crypt, -ic

synonym study For cryptic

1. See ambiguous.

Other words for cryptic

Other words from cryptic

  • cryp·ti·cal·ly, adverb
  • non·cryp·tic, adjective
  • non·cryp·ti·cal, adjective
  • non·cryp·ti·cal·ly, adverb

Words Nearby cryptic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use cryptic in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cryptic



/ (ˈkrɪptɪk) /

  1. hidden; secret; occult

  2. (esp of comments, sayings, etc) obscure in meaning

  1. (of the coloration of animals) tending to conceal by disguising or camouflaging the shape

Origin of cryptic

C17: from Late Latin crypticus, from Greek kruptikos, from kruptos concealed; see crypt

Derived forms of cryptic

  • cryptically, adverb

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