enigma


noun, plural e·nig·mas; Chiefly Archaic e·nig·ma·ta [uhnig-muh-tuh] /əˈnɪg mə tə/.

  1. a puzzling or inexplicable occurrence or situation: His disappearance is an enigma that has given rise to much speculation.
  2. a person of puzzling or contradictory character: To me he has always been an enigma, one minute completely insensitive, the next moved to tears.
  3. a saying, question, picture, etc., containing a hidden meaning; riddle.
  4. (initial capital letter) a German-built enciphering machine developed for commercial use in the early 1920s and later adapted and appropriated by German and other Axis powers for military use through World War II.

noun

  1. a person, thing, or situation that is mysterious, puzzling, or ambiguous
n.

1580s, earlier enigmate (mid-15c.), from Latin aenigma “riddle,” from Greek ainigma (plural ainigmata), from ainissesthai “speak obscurely, speak in riddles,” from ainos “fable, riddle,” of unknown origin.

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