- mysterious in meaning; puzzling; ambiguous: a cryptic message.
- abrupt; terse; short: a cryptic note.
- secret; occult: a cryptic writing.
- involving or using cipher, code, etc.
- Zoology. fitted for concealing; serving to camouflage.
- a cryptogram, especially one designed as a puzzle.
Origin of cryptic
SynonymsSee more synonyms for cryptic on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for cryptic
Even as early as December 4, remarks from inside the bubble were cryptic and frightened.Pyongyang Shuffle: Hollywood In Dead Panic Over Sony Hack
December 19, 2014
He was like some cryptic English-Chekhovian figure, playing out the last days of his private, imagined Raj.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
Kurant has crafted a new, cryptic narrative in which the three redundant characters come together in a wrecking yard.CPR for Actors Killed By Tarantino and Coppola
December 27, 2013
I also think Damian Lewis's performance was stellar in episode after episode: vivid, cryptic, and (against all odds) believable.‘Homeland’ Finale Shocker: A Death in the Family
December 16, 2013
She wants an explanation of the cryptic glares and whispers, but they disappear.This Week’s Hot Reads: April 29, 2013
G. Clay Whittaker, Jen Vafidis
April 29, 2013
"A Wade check is always honored," was his cryptic assertion.Dust
Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
When he spoke, his words were cryptic to all those in the room.Philo Gubb Correspondence-School Detective
Ellis Parker Butler
"Conditions have not been wholly favorable," was the cryptic reply.It's All Yours
"We-all'll come 'long when we's bid," was Jess' cryptic retort.Peggy Stewart at School
Gabrielle E. Jackson
"I believe in the belief of the guides," was my cryptic rejoinder.The Shadow World
- hidden; secret; occult
- (esp of comments, sayings, etc) obscure in meaning
- (of the coloration of animals) tending to conceal by disguising or camouflaging the shape
Word Origin and History for cryptic
1630s, "hidden, occult, mystical," from Late Latin crypticus, from Greek kryptikos "fit for concealing," from kryptos "hidden" (see crypt). Meaning "mysterious, enigmatic" is recorded from 1920. Related: Cryptically.
- Hidden or concealed.
- Tending to conceal or camouflage, as the coloring of an animal.