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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ A novel of international intrigue in which Grace goes to Stockholm in response to a cryptic message from her sister, Willa.
▪ Better to lose face and be open about not understanding the cryptic message, than to lose sleep at night over it.
▪ Manville perused the cryptic message with satisfaction.
▪ As described in Chapter Five, the manager may use cryptic messages to reinforce this impression.
▪ And was his cryptic message supposed to imply forgiveness for her own error - or some kind of apology for his own?
▪ And because, somehow, Luke Hunter had caught her off balance with his flowers and cryptic messages.
▪ Indovina's lyrics are mostly cryptic and obscure.
▪ But there is one story which, in a cryptic and covert way, does.
▪ Darby was a cheerfully relaxed young man who compiled cryptic crosswords for a monthly magazine in his spare time.
▪ He did not find the question cryptic or bizarre.
▪ My journal is confused, almost cryptic on these matters.
▪ Rather, what she was saying with her cryptic scriptural reference was that I might not be asking the right question.
▪ These variations appear cryptic to most westerners, and require some explanation.
▪ Write down any error messages you see, no matter how cryptic.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Cryptic \Cryp"tic\ (kr[i^]p"t[i^]k), Cryptical \Cryp"tic*al\ (-t?-kal), a. [L. crypticus, Gr. kryptiko`s, fr. kry`ptein to hide.] Hidden; secret; occult. ``Her [nature's] more cryptic ways of working.''

2. incomprehensible to those not familiar with the culture or jargon; as, the new insurance policy is written without cryptic or mysterious terms.

Syn: inscrutable, mysterious, mystifying.

3. having a secret or hidden meaning; as, cryptic symbols engraved in stone; cryptic writings.

Syn: cabalistic, occult, secret, sibylline.

3. having a puzzling terseness; as, a cryptic note.

4. not evident; unrecognized; as, a cryptic infection.

5. written in a code or cipher; as, a cryptic message.

Syn: encoded, enciphered, encrypted.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1630s, "hidden, occult, mystical," from Late Latin crypticus, from Greek kryptikos "fit for concealing," from kryptos "hidden" (see crypt). Meaning "mysterious, enigmatic" is recorded from 1920. Related: Cryptically.


a. 1 Having hidden meaning. 2 Mystified or of an obscure nature. 3 Involving use of code or cipher/cypher. 4 (context zoology English) Well camouflaged; having good camouflage. n. (context informal English) A cryptic crossword.

  1. adj. 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"


Cryptic may refer to:

In science:

  • Cryptic species complex, a group of species that are very difficult to distinguish from one another
  • Crypsis, the ability of animals to blend in to avoid observation
  • Cryptic era, earliest period of the Earth

In music:

  • Cryptic (album), by Edge of Sanity
  • Cryptic, a Minnesota-based music group formed by Brownmark

In games and entertainment:

  • Cryptic crossword, a type of word puzzle, known colloquially as Cryptics
  • Cryptic Studios, video game developer
  • Cryptics, characters from the role playing game, Demon: The Fallen
Cryptic (album)

Cryptic is the seventh full-length studio album by the Swedish death metal band Edge of Sanity, released on December 1, 1997 by Black Mark Production. It is the only Edge of Sanity album in which Dan Swanö does not contribute. Guitarist Andreas Axelsson hired a new vocalist in an attempt to keep the band together.

Usage examples of "cryptic".

But it runs side by side with an almost cryptic agnosticism about the real nature of the gods to be propitiated.

Thero march off up the stairs, but Alec thought he caught the hint of a cryptic frown before the old servant doddered off toward the kitchen.

In a way, he was more cryptic than Renz or Alker, for his whole expression was immobile.

It was a scene from a vision of Fuseli, and over all the rest reigned that riot of luminous amorphousness, that alien and undimensioned rainbow of cryptic poison from the well--seething, feeling, lapping, reaching, scintillating, straining, and malignly bubbling in its cosmic and unrecognizable chromaticism.

The road ended abruptly at a great hole in the ground, similar to that which they had seen at the shrine of Uray Caver, except that this one was begemmed with glistening creet platters, and everywhere about it were queer oblongs of god-metal scored with cryptic runes.

The abbreviations for cystine and cysteine are more cryptic and deserve some explanation, for they will be important later on.

Poor cryptic Dorr, who spent twenty-five years trying to do something crazy enough to break herself free of her grandfather.

Wearing a cryptic grin, Goldy Tancred struck a match and ignited the paper which bore the plans for the next crime.

The only ties they had to their past were cryptic stones, some of which Nata and I deciphered and which helped us learn about the ship.

He beheld shuddering lines that a fleshly tongue is witless to describe, except perhaps in spurts of impression --prolongated, splayed at angles, an obliquangular mass of smeared and clotted material, glaucous clay dredged from an old and abiding coomb where earthly veins dangle and fell waters drip as the sculpture dripped, milky-lucent starshine in the cryptic barn, an intumescent hulk rent from the floss of a carnival mirror.

McKennah nodded to Pavone, who snatched up the phone and spoke in cryptic terms of art to an underling.

Only the Reunification Democratic Party was talking, and then only in cryptic statements.

And again, there is the desire to compress a telegraphic message into the minimum sixpennyworth, and so send an ambiguous and cryptic sentence, when sevenpence would have made it as clear as light.

And the famous Mohenjo-daro steatite seals, with their cryptic animal symbols and pictographic markings.

I stood in the semidarkness, rubbing my aching head, all this came back to me, and I stared fearsomely across the vast chamber at that black cryptic corridor into which Tamera and her lover had disappeared, and over which silence lay like a pall.