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Origin of enigmatic
synonym study for enigmatic
historical usage of enigmatic
Aínigma (the direct source of English enigma , meaning “a riddle or puzzling situation”) is a derivative of the verb ainíssesthai “to speak in words full of content,” then “to speak in words difficult to understand,” and finally “to speak in riddles,” a progression in meaning that seems very apt in modern life. Ainíssesthai is a derivative of the noun aînos, “tale, story” in Homer, then “meaningful words, praise, tale with a moral, fable, riddle.” This little family of Greek words, like 60 percent of Greek vocabulary, has no known etymology.
OTHER WORDS FROM enigmatic
Words nearby enigmatic
What does enigmatic mean?
The adjective enigmatic can be used to describe someone or something that’s puzzling or mysterious.
Enigmatic means resembling an enigma—someone or something that’s puzzling, mysterious, or difficult to make sense of. The word enigma can also mean a riddle, but it’s more often used to refer to something that’s so perplexing that it seems like a riddle (and perhaps was intended to seem like one), as in That book is completely enigmatic—I have no idea what it’s really about.
If you call a person enigmatic, you mean that they’re hard to figure out—the reasons behind what they say and do are not easily understood. Some people try to be enigmatic to be mysterious.
Example: I’ve known him for years, but he’s completely enigmatic—I have no idea what his interests are or what he’s really like.
Where does enigmatic come from?
The first records of the word enigmatic come from the 1620s. It ultimately comes from the Greek ainíssesthai, meaning “to speak in riddles,” from ainos, meaning “fable” or “story.”
An enigmatic person’s personality is like a riddle. So is pretty much anything described as enigmatic—like an enigmatic film or an enigmatic statement. There may be a meaning or understandable pattern to it, but it’s not obvious. Sometimes, things described as enigmatic are that way on purpose, probably to add a sense of mystery or intrigue. Other times, things described as enigmatic are just naturally confusing.
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What are some other forms related to enigmatic?
- enigmatically (adverb)
- enigmatical (adjective)
- enigma (noun)
What are some synonyms for enigmatic?
What are some words that share a root or word element with enigmatic?
What are some words that often get used in discussing enigmatic?
How is enigmatic used in real life?
When a situation or problem is described as enigmatic, it’s one that’s confusing or difficult to understand, like a riddle. When a person is described as enigmatic, it usually means that they’re hard to know.
I've just realised: a completely enigmatic narrator can disguise or justify all manner of authorial flaws.
Booker Prize, here I come.
— Jeffrey Boakye (@jeffreykboakye) May 4, 2013
Oh, german. Nearly understandable (to an English speaker) when spoken, completely enigmatic when written.
— Mimizu (@Dr_mimizu) March 28, 2010
Bernard Haitink: The Enigmatic Maestro, review: farewell to a true great https://t.co/vXQfvpLsN0
— Telegraph TV & Radio (@TeleTVRadio) September 26, 2020
Try using enigmatic!
Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of enigmatic?
Example sentences from the Web for enigmatic
That endurance suggests that enigmatic structures found in the early rock record have a better chance of being pseudofossils, rather than actual fossils, the team says.Fossil mimics may be more common in ancient rocks than actual fossils|Carolyn Gramling|February 9, 2021|Science News
He also was an assistant to Bobby Fischer when the enigmatic American player claimed the world championship from Soviet grandmaster Boris Spassky in the dramatic 1972 match where the Cold War played out atop a chess table.Lubomir Kavalek, international chess grandmaster, dies at 77|Emily Langer|January 20, 2021|Washington Post
In our paper about ORCs, which is forthcoming in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, we run through all the possibilities and conclude these enigmatic blobs don’t look like anything we already know about.
A genuine mysteryIn our paper about ORCs, which is forthcoming in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, we run through all the possibilities and conclude these enigmatic blobs don’t look like anything we already know about.These ghostly circles in the sky came out of nowhere|By Ray Norris/The Conversation|December 4, 2020|Popular Science
The skull fossil clears up a lot of confusion about this amphibian group’s lifestyle, Gardner says, but in other ways, albanerpetontids remain as enigmatic as ever.An ancient amphibian is the oldest known animal with a slingshot tongue|Carolyn Gramling|November 5, 2020|Science News
And, as the enigmatic front man to an avant garde indie rock group, he is droll, perceptive, and splendidly weird.Oscars 2015: The Daily Beast’s Picks, From Scarlett Johansson to ‘Boyhood’|Marlow Stern|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Bolotov has been the most enigmatic of eastern Ukrainian leaders on this score.
Unlike her children and grandchildren, she has kept the brand intact: ever-present, ever-smiling, but ever-enigmatic.
Not since Gwyneth Paltrow's “conscious uncoupling” has one term been so intriguing, and so enigmatic.Avril Lavigne’s Dumb ‘Hello Kitty’ Video Is Rife with Cultural Appropriation|Amy Zimmerman|April 25, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Betty Draper burst onto the small screen with an undeniable presence befitting the wife of the enigmatic Don Draper.Every Woman Don Draper’s Hooked Up With on ‘Mad Men’|Amy Zimmerman|April 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Thurstane's blue-black eyes studied this enigmatic being steadily and almost angrily.Overland|John William De Forest
Shelburne, his former leader, he would not invite, for he could not endure his habitually enigmatic conduct.The Political History of England - Vol. X.|William Hunt
At first they were covert and enigmatic, then merely ambiguous, and finally undisguised, and containing the bitterest reflections.
This young man was again the dark-faced, clear-eyed Roy, droll and dry, with the enigmatic smile on his lips.The Man of the Forest|Zane Grey
The girl was an enigmatic creature, silent, self-absorbed, shrinking from the give-and-take of social life.The Open Question|Elizabeth Robins