AskDefine | Define cryptic

Dictionary Definition

cryptic adj
1 of an obscure nature; "the new insurance policy is written without cryptic or mysterious terms"; "a deep dark secret"; "the inscrutible workings of Providence"; "in its mysterious past it encompasses all the dim origins of life"- Rachel Carson; "rituals totally mystifying to visitors from other lands" [syn: cryptical, deep, inscrutable, mysterious, mystifying]
2 having a secret or hidden meaning; "cabalistic symbols engraved in stone"; "cryptic writings"; "thoroughly sibylline in most of his pronouncements"- John Gunther [syn: cabalistic, kabbalistic, qabalistic, cryptical, sibylline]
3 having a puzzling terseness; "a cryptic note"

User Contributed Dictionary



Late Latin 'crypticus', from 'kruptikos', from 'kruptos' (hidden), from 'kruptein' (to hide).


  • /ˈkɹɪptɪk/, /"krIptIk/


  1. Having hidden meaning.
  2. Mystified or of an obscure nature.
  3. Involving use of code or cipher.

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

Cryptic can refer to:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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