Cryptic

DEFINITION

Having or seeming to have a hidden or ambiguous meaning; mysterious; often marked by an often perplexing brevity. "Cryptic" sometimes carries the deeper sense of secrecy or the occult, and is often sensed in Dada and in surrealist works. The history of "cryptic" starts with "kryptein," a Greek word meaning "to hide." From this word came "kryptos," meaning "hidden," which led to "crypticus," the Latin predecessor of our "cryptic." Not surprisingly, "cryptic" is closely related to "crypt." "Kryptein" also gave us several words having to do with secret codes, such as "cryptogram" and "cryptography" (the coding and decoding of secret messages). And in fact, something "cryptic" can sometimes seem as if written in code.(pr. KRIP-tək)Also see absurd, amphibolous, Dada, incongruity, irony, and Surrealism.

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