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illustration Arcane



Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Latin, mid-16th century


Requiring knowledge only known to a few people


Obscure or mysterious

Examples of Arcane in a sentence

"Admittance to the arcane branch of study at the university was limited to a few people a year."

"Her interest in arcane artifacts was rooted in her love of medieval history."

About Arcane

"Arcane" may have a flavor of the occult about it, but it doesn’t necessarily mean something associated with witchcraft. Instead, a more appropriate synonym is "esoteric," which is used to describe things understood by only a select few.

Did you Know?

You might think all knowledge is meant to be shared, but the roots of "arcane" imply a secretive nature. The Latin word "arcānus" means "secret or hidden," and that comes from "arceō," which implies to shut something up, as if in a chest. Talk about keeping it all to yourself.

illustration Arcane

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