enigmatic

[ en-ig-mat-ik, ee-nig- ]
/ ˌɛn ɪgˈmæt ɪk, ˌi nɪg- /

adjective

resembling an enigma, or a puzzling occurrence, situation, statement, person, etc.; perplexing; mysterious: She has a perpetually enigmatic expression on her face. This is the most enigmatic book I have ever read!

QUIZZES

DO YOU KNOW THIS VOCABULARY FROM "THE HANDMAID'S TALE"?

"The Handmaid's Tale" was required reading for many of us in school. Everyone else has probably watched the very popular and addictive TV show. Do you remember this vocabulary from the book, and do you know what these terms mean?
Question 1 of 10
decorum
Also en·ig·mat·i·cal.

Origin of enigmatic

1620–30; < Late Latin aenigmaticus < Greek ainigmatikós, equivalent to ainigmat- (stem of aínigma) enigma + -ikos -ic

synonym study for enigmatic

historical usage of enigmatic

Enigmatic has always meant “ambiguous, obscure, perplexing” since the adjective entered English in the 17th century. This word comes from the Latin adjective aenigmaticus, from the Greek adjective ainigmatikós, a derivative of the Greek noun aínigma (stem ainigmat- ) “a dark saying, riddle, taunt.”
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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for enigmatical