[rek-uhn-dahyt, ri-kon-dahyt]


dealing with very profound, difficult, or abstruse subject matter: a recondite treatise.
beyond ordinary knowledge or understanding; esoteric: recondite principles.
little known; obscure: a recondite fact.

Origin of recondite

1640–50; earlier recondit < Latin reconditus recondite, hidden (orig. past participle of recondere to hide), equivalent to re- re- + cond(ere) to bring together (con- con- + -dere to put) + -itus -ite2
Related formsrec·on·dite·ly, adverbrec·on·dite·ness, nounun·rec·on·dite, adjective

Synonyms for recondite

Antonyms for recondite Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for recondite

Contemporary Examples of recondite

Historical Examples of recondite

  • Yet there is no need to apply any recondite or novel machinery.

  • In the university that life is, she had acquired encyclopedias of recondite learning.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • In itself, it has no recondite meaning, it answers fully its own sweet purpose.

    Spare Hours

    John Brown

  • If he had recondite and "artistic" feelings, he indulged them also without shame.

    Visions and Revisions

    John Cowper Powys

  • And we have legends in recondite books of the manner of the King's death.


    William Makepeace Thackeray

British Dictionary definitions for recondite



requiring special knowledge to be understood; abstruse
dealing with abstruse or profound subjects
Derived Formsreconditely, adverbreconditeness, noun

Word Origin for recondite

C17: from Latin reconditus hidden away, from re- + condere to conceal
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

Word Origin and History for recondite

1640s, "removed or hidden from view," from Old French recondit, from Latin reconditus, past participle of recondere "store away, hide, conceal, put back again, put up again, lay up," from re- "away, back" (see re-) + condere "to store, hide, put together," from con- "together" (see con-) + -dere "to put, place," comb. form of dare "to give" (see date (n.1)). Meaning "removed from ordinary understanding, profound" is from 1650s; of writers or sources, "obscure," it is recorded from 1817.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper