Definition of recondite in English:



  • (of a subject or knowledge) little known; abstruse.

    ‘the book is full of recondite information’
    • ‘Hansen uses short sentences and has a knack for clarifying opaque and recondite ideas.’
    • ‘The biographer's contextualising presence allows us to catch even the most recondite allusion.’
    • ‘It is a mine of interesting and recondite information, written by the leading authorities in their fields.’
    • ‘Imagery is of central importance to all three poets, and their use of images is daring, varied, and frequently recondite.’
    • ‘She metamorphosed into a highly intelligent woman who engaged the General on recondite matters of French history and culture.’
    • ‘They must have found their teacher too sophisticated, too full of recondite allusions for them to follow.’
    • ‘Hellenistic literature displayed (sometimes in one and the same work) a mandarin artificiality full of recondite, learned allusions and a lively, realistic interest in everyday life.’
    • ‘Such recondite periphrasis brought its own reward.’
    • ‘His accompanying text may not answer every question on this recondite subject.’
    • ‘Derrida burst on to the world stage in the 1960s with his recondite theory known as deconstruction.’
    • ‘The Buddha's monks were not to speculate about the future or the past, or about such recondite questions as the beginning or end of the world.’
    • ‘And if the model of critical practice sounds urbane, recondite and not a little esoteric, it need not be dull.’
    • ‘The recondite topic of usury allowed Noonan to consider the problem of doctrinal development at greater length.’
    • ‘Bruce was a lively and fascinating speaker, with a huge fund of anecdotes and recondite facts.’
    • ‘He took his stories from writers more recondite than Ovid and Livy, the sources for the painters of the Bourbon monarchy and the Napoleonic empire.’
    • ‘But if you dress up the idea in a forbidding vocabulary, full of neologisms and recondite references to philosophy, then you may have a prescription for academic stardom.’
    • ‘Let's show the world that we can be lucid and enthusiastic explainers of recondite ideas, not merely the flamboyant show-offs that unfair stereotypes so often paint us to be.’
    • ‘I have known non-intellectual teachers and writers with a marvelous capacity for getting recondite points across to the most obtuse student or reader.’
    • ‘Whether in science, philosophy, or religion, the use of recondite terminology has a tendency to impede the dissemination of useful concepts and theories.’
    • ‘Feeling uncertain of his understanding of the mathematical concepts, he asked senior mathematicians to test his grasp of the more recondite concepts.’
    obscure, abstruse, arcane, esoteric, little known, recherché, abstract, deep, profound, cryptic, difficult, complex, complicated, involved
    above one's head, over one's head, incomprehensible, unfathomable, impenetrable, opaque, dark, mysterious, occult, cabbalistic, secret, hidden
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Mid 17th century: from Latin reconditus hidden, put away past participle of recondere, from re- back + condere put together, secrete.