enigma

e*nig"ma

(*ng"m), n.;
pl. enigmas (*ng"mz).
[L. aenigma, Gr. a'i`nigma, fr. a'ini`ssesqai to speak darkly, fr. a'i^nos tale, fable.] 1. A dark, obscure, or inexplicable saying; a riddle; a statement, the hidden meaning of which is to be discovered or guessed.
[1913 Webster]

A custom was among the ancients of proposing an enigma at festivals.
Pope.
[1913 Webster]

2. An action, mode of action, or thing, which cannot be satisfactorily explained; a puzzle; as, his conduct is an enigma.

{

E`nig*mat"ic

(?; 277),

E`nig*mat"ic*al

(?), } a. [Cf. F. nigmatique.] Relating to or resembling an enigma; not easily explained or accounted for; darkly expressed; not clear to the understanding; obscure; puzzling; as, an enigmatical answer; I didn't grasp the meaning of that enigmatical comment until much later; prophetic texts so enigmatical that their meaning has been disputed for centuries.
Syn. -- dark, obscure, puzzling.
[1913 Webster + WordNet 1.5]

 

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Tue 11th December 2018