I am fairly certain it starts with the letter 'd', but if not, it at least has that letter in it.

Other words that describe it: recondite / cryptic / secret / arcane / "not many people are allowed access."

A friend told me what it was it a ways back. Apparently it was the word-of-the-day on dictionary.com once. (I have not been able to find it there...)


Esconced or niched come to mind, but they're not even credibly obscure. Adytum, perhaps?

  • Thank you! Adytum was the word I was looking for! I would vote you up had I the reputation. Maybe it's not the most obscure word, but at least it's not in Chrome's dictionary... – Alex Houghton Mar 12 '14 at 17:04


  • Occult has most of those meanings. – Bradd Szonye Mar 12 '14 at 5:57
  • The word was adytum, but I really do appreciate this list. I'll remember to use adumbrated some time. Thank you. – Alex Houghton Mar 12 '14 at 17:10

Here's a possibility - delitescent?

  • Hello sir, may I enquire... where/how did you find this word? are you a Latin scholar? – d'alar'cop Mar 12 '14 at 8:48
  • Obscure words starting with D: kokogiak.com/logolepsy/ow_d.html – Neil W Mar 12 '14 at 9:22
  • This is an interesting word that I've not heard of before! I'll have to keep it in mind. @Spehro found the word: adytum. – Alex Houghton Mar 12 '14 at 17:07

ar·cane ärˈkān/ adj.
1. understood by few; mysterious or secret.

recondite (rĕk′ən-dīt′, rĭ-kŏn′dīt′) adj.
1. Not easily understood; abstruse. See Synonyms at ambiguous.
2. Concerned with or treating something abstruse or obscure: recondite scholarship.
3. Concealed; hidden.

vocabulary.com on recondite:

It's rather difficult to penetrate the meaning of recondite. Fitting, because it's an adjective that basically means hard for the average mind to understand.

If it's really hard to comprehend, then it's safe to say it's recondite. In the same family as "abstruse," "esoteric" and "totally deep, man," recondite is a very serious word that you could use to describe obscure philosophy books, high level mathematical theory, and the series finale of The Sopranos — you know, things that make your brain hurt.

  • Both those words were given in the question as synonyms of the elusive word. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Mar 12 '14 at 8:28
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Pass the down votes, they can be useful to others. :) – Kris Mar 12 '14 at 8:33

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