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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Arcanum \Ar*ca"num\, n.; pl. Arcana. [L., fr. arcanus closed, secret, fr. arca chest, box, fr. arcere to inclose. See Ark.]

  1. A secret; a mystery; -- generally used in the plural.

    Inquiries into the arcana of the Godhead.

  2. (Med.) A secret remedy; an elixir.
    --Dunglison. [1913 Webster] ||

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"hidden things, mysteries," 1590s, a direct adoption of the Latin plural of arcanum "a secret, a mystery," from neuter of adjective arcanus "secret, hidden, private, concealed" (see arcane). Occasionally mistaken for a singular and pluralized as arcanas because arcana is far more common than arcanum.


n. 1 (plural of arcanum English)Category:English plurals 2 specialized knowledge that is mysterious to the uninitiated.


See arcanum

  1. n. information known only to a special group; "the secret of Cajun cooking" [syn: secret]

  2. [also: arcana (pl)]

Arcana (video game)

Arcana, originally released as , is a 1992 RPG for the SNES by HAL Laboratory. The game represents all of its characters as cards, but plays like a dungeon-crawling RPG, rather than a card-based game. In keeping with this metaphor, the death of a character results in a 'torn' card, and the magical properties of some cards are used to explain abilities of the game's characters.

Arcana (Swedish band)

Arcana is Swedish neoclassical band formed in 1994 and was originally signed to the Cold Meat Industry label.

Arcana (American band)

Arcana was an American jazz fusion band that formed in 1995 and originally comprised guitarist Derek Bailey, bassist Bill Laswell and drummer Tony Williams. The original lineup released one album, The Last Wave, in July 1996, before Bailey left the band. Guitar duties for the second album were recorded by guest musicians Nicky Skopelitis and Buckethead, and Arc of the Testimony was released in October 1997. The band split up after the release of their second album due to the death of Williams in February 1997.

Arcana (convention)

Arcana is a long-running horror convention that bills itself as "a convention of the dark fantastic." Arcana is held annually in late September or early October in St. Paul, Minnesota and typically features a famous author or artist from the dark fantasy genre as its guest of honor. Arcana programming includes a variety of panels, talks, and films, plus an interview and reading with the Guest of Honor. Other programming includes a book and art auction and an "open" reading. The presentation of the Minnesota Fantasy Award is a key feature of each year's convention.

Arcana (album)

Arcana is the second album by the Austrian symphonic metal band Edenbridge. The track "Velvet Eyes of Dawn" is present only in the digipak edition.

Arcana (manga)

Arcana is a manga series written and illustrated by Yua Kotegawa. It was adapted into a live action film in 2013.

Arcana (film)

Arcana is a 1972 Italian horror-drama film written and directed by Giulio Questi.

Usage examples of "arcana".

I note that you continue to insist that the Union of Arcana must receive title to at least half the portals contained in this cluster.

As I say, the Union of Arcana is unaccustomed to bending to ultimatums.

Accords was the official policy of the Union of Arcana in the present conflict.

It also happened to have been proscribed, along with all other mind-ripping spellware, at the time the Union of Arcana was formally ratified.

The Sharonians, like the Union of Arcana itself, seemed to stick to fairly standardized designs for things like portal forts.

She had to remind herself that Arcana had been expanding into the multiverse for two centuries, almost three times as long as Sharona.

Hilmaran Kingdom in Arcana whose territory includes the equivalent of Guyana, Surinam, and French Guiana.

Andaran military accords drafted centuries ago by the Andaran Commander of Armies Housip Kerellia and adopted by the Union of Arcana as the official standard for treatment of POWs and as the code of conduct to be followed by Arcanan personnel who become POWs.

Duke of Garth Showma, planetary governor of New Arcana, father of Sir Jasak Olderhan.

Mehevi sought to enlighten my ignorance, but he failed as signally as when he had endeavoured to initiate me into the perplexing arcana of the taboo.

Although this prince of navigators was in many instances assisted by interpreters in the prosecution of his researches, he still frankly acknowledges that he was at a loss to obtain anything like a clear insight into the puzzling arcana of their faith.

This is not known because its laws are arcana, hitherto hidden in the wisdom of angels.

To this let me append two arcana of angelic wisdom showing further what divine providence is like.

Such visions do not occur at this day because if they did, they would not be understood inasmuch as they are produced by representations the details of which signify internal things of the church and arcana of heaven.

It has been granted me by much experience in the spiritual world to know that man possesses in himself the faculty of apprehending arcana of wisdom like the angels themselves.