Definition of arcana in English:


Syllabification: ar·ca·na
Pronunciation: /ärˈkānə


[treated as singular or plural] (singular arcanum /-nəm/)
1Secrets or mysteries: his knowledge of federal budget arcana is legendary
More example sentences
  • The first class, today at 9: 30, is Federal Jurisdiction, the law school course most known for mystery and arcana.
  • So she's methodically built up a comfort level with national security issues, joining the Armed Services Committee and spending countless hours mastering military arcana.
  • But anyone wanting to get a job as a graphic designer is probably claiming to be detail-oriented, aesthetically aware, obsessive about getting things perfect, and tuned to the arcana of graphic design.
1.1 [treated as singular] Either of the two groups of cards in a tarot pack: the twenty-two trump cards (the major arcana) and the fifty-six suit cards (the minor arcana).
More example sentences
  • Gresham organizes each chapter along the twenty-two minor arcana of the Tarot, a device used by later authors such as Robert Anton Wilson and Umberto Eco.
  • It's a euphemism for the Tarot major arcana, based on the myth that the Egyptian god Thoth's wisdom was written down in the eponymous book, for magicians to discover.
  • We've been through various mappings to the major arcana of the tarot.


mid 16th century: from Latin, neuter plural of arcanus (see arcane).

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