Definition of enigmatic in English:

enigmatic

adjective

  • Difficult to interpret or understand; mysterious.

    ‘he took the money with an enigmatic smile’
    • ‘Art lovers the world over have spent years musing over Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile.’
    • ‘As their names suggest, they make murky music, so quiet and enigmatic they risk going unnoticed in the corner.’
    • ‘Although the end is enigmatic like a short story, the film's strength is in its dialogues full of irony.’
    • ‘An enigmatic character in some respects, Costello played his politics close to his chest.’
    • ‘Researchers hope that its experimental data will solve some of the mysteries surrounding this enigmatic body.’
    • ‘He was the most enigmatic and the most provocative painter of the early Soviet period.’
    • ‘Tall and handsome, with heavy-lidded, soulful eyes, he was volatile and enigmatic.’
    • ‘Both boys possess violent streaks, but in the end it may be the enigmatic Stewart who is the scariest of them all.’
    • ‘I'd only vaguely heard of the show, had never listened to it, but his enigmatic message drove me to find out more.’
    • ‘Other translators of his work have phoned me, thanking me for unpacking some of his more enigmatic sentences.’
    • ‘Mom and dad are setting the table for supper, a weird enigmatic smile on their face.’
    • ‘Mostly, though, this stuff is short, enigmatic, insubstantial and exciting.’
    • ‘From the enigmatic Chancellor it was interpreted as the closest thing to a job application.’
    • ‘No. Will the enigmatic young female violinist turn out to be significant?’
    • ‘The enigmatic Duke then disguises himself as a priest in order to observe the events.’
    • ‘This news came to us from a York source who must remain anonymous to make them sound more enigmatic and exciting.’
    • ‘The play, after all, is the very antithesis of the romantic drama its enigmatic title might suggest.’
    • ‘This is the story of the enigmatic Catherine Weekes and the mysteries surrounding her.’
    • ‘In keeping with its enigmatic image, the origins of the ritual use of the plant are also uncertain.’
    • ‘These people pop up mysteriously and deliver enigmatic messages before vanishing again.’
    mysterious, puzzling, hard to understand, mystifying, inexplicable, baffling, perplexing, bewildering, confusing, impenetrable, inscrutable, incomprehensible, unexplainable, unfathomable, indecipherable, delphic, oracular
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 17th century: from French énigmatique or late Latin aenigmaticus, based on Greek ainigma ‘riddle’ (see enigma).

Pronunciation

enigmatic

/ˌɛnɪɡˈmatɪk/