Dictionary.com

enigma

[ uh-nig-muh ]
/ əˈnɪg mə /
Save This Word!

noun, plural e·nig·mas; Chiefly Archaic e·nig·ma·ta [uh-nig-muh-tuh]. /əˈnɪg mə tə/.
a puzzling or inexplicable occurrence or situation: His disappearance is an enigma that has given rise to much speculation.
a person of puzzling or contradictory character: To me he has always been an enigma, one minute completely insensitive, the next moved to tears.
a saying, question, picture, etc., containing a hidden meaning; riddle.
(initial capital letter) a German-built enciphering machine developed for commercial use in the early 1920s and later adapted and appropriated by German and other Axis powers for military use through World War II.
QUIZ
GOOSES. GEESES. I WANT THIS QUIZ ON PLURAL NOUNS!
Test how much you really know about regular and irregular plural nouns with this quiz.
Question 1 of 9
Which of the following nouns has an irregular plural form?

Origin of enigma

First recorded in 1530–40; from Latin aenigma, from Greek aínigma, equivalent to ainik- (stem of ainíssesthai “to speak in riddles,” derivative of aînos fable) + -ma noun suffix of result

synonym study for enigma

1. See puzzle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use enigma in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for enigma

enigma
/ (ɪˈnɪɡmə) /

noun
a person, thing, or situation that is mysterious, puzzling, or ambiguous

Derived forms of enigma

enigmatic (ˌɛnɪɡˈmætɪk) or enigmatical, adjectiveenigmatically, adverb

Word Origin for enigma

C16: from Latin aenigma, from Greek ainigma, from ainissesthai to speak in riddles, from ainos fable, story
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
FEEDBACK