In a word: Recondite

July 18, 2011

Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a moderately obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar — another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. This week's word:


A subject, a branch of knowledge, or a particular kind of information is recondite (pronounced RECK-un-dite) if it is little known, obscure, abstruse. For you, it might be physics, or grammar, or the infield fly rule. The word comes from the Latin reconditus, meaning "hidden" or "put away."

Example: "The great testimony of history shows how often in fact the development of science has emerged in response to technological and even economic needs, and how in the economy of social effort, science, even of the most abstract and recondite kind, pays for itself again and again in providing the basis for radically new technological developments."

—J. Robert Oppenheimer

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