- 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.
Origin of enigma
Synonyms for enigma
Related Words for enigmasconundrum, puzzle, riddle, mystification, perplexity, stickler, question, secret, cliffhanger, twister, puzzlement, cryptogram, parable, crux, puzzler, knot, why, bewilderment, problem, stumper
Examples from the Web for enigmas
Historical Examples of enigmas
“You speak in enigmas, Jean,” he said, bending earnestly to her again.The White Lie
William Le Queux
To an extent this is unavoidable and one of the enigmas of life.Steve and the Steam Engine
Sara Ware Bassett
Lamartine once said that the Revolution has mysteries but no enigmas.Lectures on the French Revolution
John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton
Somehow he seemed to possess a peculiar facility in the solving of enigmas.The Seven Secrets
William Le Queux
The hearts of pretty women are like bonbons, wrapped up in enigmas.Pearls of Thought
Maturin M. Ballou
- a person, thing, or situation that is mysterious, puzzling, or ambiguous
Word Origin for enigma
1580s, earlier enigmate (mid-15c.), from Latin aenigma "riddle," from Greek ainigma (plural ainigmata), from ainissesthai "speak obscurely, speak in riddles," from ainos "fable, riddle," of unknown origin.