Adjective "arcane" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Understood by few; mysterious or secret.
  1. 'I could find a mentor and follow them around, learning the arcane and mystical art of pointing.'
  2. 'Can television handle philosophy, which is popularly seen as either arcane or impossibly difficult?'
  3. 'Civil servants, ministers and the pensions industry agonised over how to interest the public in this arcane subject.'
  4. 'Modern conflict may be too complex for arcane forms of protest.'
  5. 'This arcane practice has to come to an end if investors are to have faith in equities in the long term.'
  6. 'But in the arcane world of Commonwealth Games eligibility, nothing is simple.'
  7. 'In a busy schedule where usually the legislation is very arcane, it can take years, if ever, for necessary change to occur.'
  8. 'It may seem an arcane issue to go to war over, but the unions are worried that they are losing an increasing number of workers to the private sector.'
  9. 'This is not a task to be undertaken lightly: the language is convoluted and arcane.'
  10. 'If the dos and don'ts of tipping are so arcane, why is it so prevalent?'


1. known or understood by very few; mysterious; secret; obscure; esoteric: She knew a lot about Sanskrit grammar and other arcane matters.

More examples(as adjective)

"disputes can be arcane."

"processes can be arcane."

"worlds can be arcane."

"laws can be arcane."

"languages can be arcane."

More examples++


Mid 16th century: from Latin arcanus, from arcere ‘to shut up’, from arca ‘chest’.