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Here is Your Word for Today.
February 27, 2008

Thursday, 28th February 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Adjective )

Pronunciation : aar-káyn


1. difficult or impossible to understand

2. requiring secret knowledge to be understood

3. mysteriously obscure

4. that which is hidden or secret; usually refers to rites associated with the mystery religions or secret societies

5. known or understood by only a few


Early 16th century - Latin arcanus- closed, secret - arca - box


cabalistic, cryptic, enigmatic, mysterious, mystic, mystical, mystifying, occult, puzzling, esoteric, hidden, impenetrable, mystic, recondite, unaccountable, unknowable, esoteric, hidden, secret

• Eclectic means selecting what seems best of various styles, methods or ideas.

• Esoteric means intended for and understandable by only a small knowledgeable group.

• Mysterious means of an obscure nature.

• Mystical means having a divine meaning that transcends human understanding.


common, commonplace, comprehensible, knowable, known, normal, outward

Contextual Examples:

• She knew a lot about Sanskrit grammar and other arcane matters.

• I could not understand those arcane economic theories.

• Tokyo Butter is far from an elegy or a memorial; reaching beyond traditional limitations, it seeks remnants of Deidre's life, passion, and essence in news stories, arcane tidbits of science, balloon warfare, and Internet search engines, among other places.

• The rites of the secret cult were arcane. No one outside the cult knew what they were.

• The arcane formula for the cocktail was scrawled in blood on a faded scrap of paper.

• We could make out only a little of the arcane inscription on the old trunk.

Related Words:

• arcanely : Adverb

• arcaneness : Noun

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