- 1Having a meaning that is mysterious or obscure: he found his boss’s utterances too crypticMore example sentences
- It is not that their conversations are obscure or cryptic.
- She sings cryptic, mysterious lyrics, letting her voice guide the song.
- We should be careful, because the Delphic Oracle used cryptic answers that often left the inquisitor more confused than helped.
- 1.1(Of a crossword) having difficult clues which indicate the solutions indirectly.More example sentences
- Conversations were like cryptic crossword clues.
- A vexatious variant of the crossword is the cryptic crossword - just reading the clues to a cryptic crossword is enough to reduce whole swathes of the population to weeping and gibbering.
- Anyone keen to learn the secrets of cryptic crosswords will find more than enough clues in this charming memoir, which traces Balfour's own growing fascination with puzzles.
- 2 Zoology (Of coloration or markings) serving to camouflage an animal in its natural environment: cryptic plumage is thought to minimize predationMore example sentences
- Pelagic species appear to have converged on four major strategies for crypsis: transparency, mirroring, cryptic coloration, and counterillumination.
- This shielding along with the cryptic coloration of the predator prevents the prey from becoming alarmed.
- Female hummingbirds have more cryptic coloration than males, most likely so that they do not attract predators to the nest when incubating and feeding chicks.
- More example sentences
- On those occasions when we had to leave suddenly or silently on her account, my mother would flush with excitement and speak cryptically to me, her sentences spare and hurried.
- When asked whether they were more important than his political career, he cryptically replied ‘Yes, of course.’
- Its billboards typically featured postmodern designs in bright colors that depicted the pieces of a jigsaw, or single images with cryptically clever questions.
early 17th century: from late Latin crypticus, from Greek kruptikos, from kruptos 'hidden'. sense 2 dates from the late 19th century.