cryptic Definition

  • 1having a meaning that is mysterious or obscure
  • 2using code or cipher

Using cryptic: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "cryptic" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The message was written in cryptic code.

  • Example

    Her cryptic smile made me wonder what she was thinking.

  • Example

    The instructions were so cryptic that I couldn't understand them.

cryptic Synonyms and Antonyms

Idioms Using cryptic

  • using language that is deliberately vague or obscure


    The politician answered the reporter's question in cryptic terms, avoiding a direct answer.

  • a smile that is difficult to interpret because it is enigmatic or mysterious


    She gave me a cryptic smile before walking away, leaving me wondering what she meant.

  • a clue that is deliberately obscure or puzzling, often used in games or puzzles


    The treasure hunt included several cryptic clues that led the participants to the final location.

Phrases with cryptic

  • a crossword puzzle in which each clue is a word puzzle in and of itself, often requiring lateral thinking to solve


    I love solving cryptic crosswords in my free time.

  • a message that is difficult to understand because it is written in code or contains hidden meanings


    The spy received a cryptic message from his handler, instructing him to meet at a secret location.

  • cryptic species

    a group of organisms that are morphologically similar but genetically distinct


    The researchers discovered a new cryptic species of beetle in the Amazon rainforest.

Origins of cryptic

from Greek 'kryptos', meaning 'hidden'


Summary: cryptic in Brief

The term 'cryptic' [ˈkrɪptɪk] refers to something that is mysterious or obscure, often using code or cipher. It can describe messages, instructions, or even species that are difficult to understand or identify. Examples include 'The message was written in cryptic code.' and 'The instructions were so cryptic that I couldn't understand them.' Idioms like 'in cryptic terms' and 'a cryptic smile' add to the sense of vagueness and mystery.

How do native speakers use this expression?