recondite

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

The adjective is derived from Latin reconditus (concealed, hidden; difficult to understand, unintelligible; shy, withdrawn), perfect passive participle of recondō (to conceal, hide; to put away; to re-establish, put back) + -tus (suffix forming adjectives having the sense ‘provided with’). Recondō is derived from re- (prefix meaning ‘again’) + condō (to conceal, hide; to put away, store; to put together; to build, establish; to fashion, form) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *dʰeh₁- (to do, make; to place, put)).[1] The English word is cognate with Catalan recòndit (hidden; private), Italian recondito (hidden, recondite), Middle French recondit (hidden; secret), Portuguese recôndito (hidden, secluded; isolated, remote), Spanish recóndito (hidden, recondite).

The noun is probably derived from the adjective.

The verb is derived from Latin recondere, the present active infinitive of recondō;[2] see above.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈɹɛk(ə)nˌdaɪt/, /ɹɪˈkɒndaɪt/
  • (file)
  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˈɹɛkənˌdaɪt/, /ɹəˈkɑnˌdaɪt/, /ɹiˈkɑnˌdaɪt/
  • Hyphenation: re‧cond‧ite

Adjective[edit]

recondite (comparative more recondite, superlative most recondite)

  1. Of areas of discussion or research: difficult, obscure.
    1. Difficult to grasp or understand; abstruse, profound.
      • 1618 December, John Bainbridge, An Astronomicall Description of the Late Comet: From the 18. of Nouemb. 1618. to the 16. of December following. [], London: Printed by Edward Griffin for Iohn Parker, published 1619, OCLC 1125520586, page 42; republished in A Supplement to the Third Volume of the General Chronicle and Literary Magazine, volume III, number XV, London: Sold for the proprietors, by Edmund Lloyd, [] & Gale & Curtis, [], 1811, OCLC 1570556, page 474:
        But I hope this new Messenger from Heauen doth bring happie tidings of some munificent and liberall Patron to these rauishing (but impouerishing) studies, by whose gracious bountie the most recondite mysteries of this abstruse and diuine science [astronomy] shall at length be manifested.
      • 1879–1880, Robert Louis Stevenson, “Steerage Scenes”, in The Amateur Emigrant: From the Clyde to Sandy Hook, Chicago, Ill.: Stone and Kimball, published 18 January 1895, OCLC 523063, page 40:
        Humanly speaking, it is a more important matter to play the fiddle, even badly, than to write huge works upon recondite subjects.
    2. Little known; esoteric, secret.
      • 1644, J[ohn] B[ulwer], “Certain Cavtionary Notions, Extracted out of the Ancient and Moderne Rhetoricians, for the Compleating of this Art of Manuall Rhetorique, and the Better Regulating the Important Gestures of the Hand & Fingers”, in Chirologia: or The Naturall Language of the Hand. [] Whereunto is added Chironomia: Or, The Art of Manuall Rhetoricke. [], London: Printed by Tho[mas] Harper, and are to be sold by Henry Twyford, [], OCLC 669215025, page 137:
        [T]here was in the man much learning, and that of the more inward & recondit, a great Antiquary, and one that had a certain large poſſeſſion of Divine and Humane Lawes.
      • 1722, Francis Lee, An Epistolary Discourse, Concerning the Books of Ezra, Genuine and Spurious: But More Particularly the Second Apocryphal Book under that Name, and the Variations of the Arabick Copy from the Latin. [], London: Printed by Geo[rge] James; sold by M. Smith, [], OCLC 642296676, §46, page 41:
        [T]he Apoſtle Paul had taken up many things out of theſe Recondite and Apocryphal Writings.
      • 1817, S[amuel] T[aylor] Coleridge, chapter III, in Biographia Literaria; or Biographical Sketches of My Literary Life and Opinions, volume I, London: Rest Fenner [], OCLC 489762501, page 65:
        [Of Robert Southey] I look in vain for any writer, who has conveyed so much information, from so many and such recondite sources, with so many just and original reflections, in a style so lively and poignant, yet so uniformly classical and perspicuous; [...]
      • 1849, Herman Melville, “They Visit One Doxodox”, in Mardi: And a Voyage Thither. [...] In Two Volumes, volume II, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, publishers, [], OCLC 2413019, page 279:
        But I beseech thee, wise Doxodox! instruct me in thy dialectics, that I may embrace thy more recondite lore.
      • 1850, “Ahasuerus, the Wandering Jew, among the Anglo-Saxons. No. II. The Druids. []”, in The Anglo Saxon, London: T. Bosworth, [], OCLC 145086220, page 226:
        [T]heir [the Druids'] Bards (sometimes sweet and delightful) were more often wild and fantastic, even unto madness! their Eubages affect the reconditest secrets of physical philosophy; and their female Druids, like the Sibyls of old, were often maniac with self-delusions, and with idle, but ingeniously contrived prophetic tidings!
        This superlative form appears to be a nonce.
      • 1920, Joseph Conrad, “Author’s Note”, in The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale (The Works of Joseph Conrad), London: William Heinemann, published 1921, OCLC 551086698, page xvii:
        The suggestions for certain personages of the tale, both law-abiding and lawless, came from various sources which, perhaps, here and there, some reader might have recognised. They are not very recondite.
      • 1947 January 25, W[illiam] Somerset Maugham, chapter 15, in Catalina: A Romance, Melbourne, Vic.; London: William Heinemann, published 1948, OCLC 459403118, page 83:
        Images sprang to his mind as profuse and fat as mushrooms after rain, and being well read in the Scriptures, the works of the fathers and the Latin moralists, he was never at a loss for a recondite allusion.
      • 1992 autumn, The American Scholar, volume 61, Washington, D.C.: United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa, ISSN 0003-0937, OCLC 906130794, page 576, column 1:
        It was hardly foreordained that a poor orphan from darkest Brittany—taciturn, dumpy, physically unprepossessing, and a scholarship boy to boot—working in the recondite realms of Semitic philology, should play such a role in his time.
      • 2004 September 28, Alexander McCall Smith, chapter 21, in The Sunday Philosophy Club, London: Little, Brown and Company, →ISBN, page 224:
        While oenophiles resorted to recondite adjectives, whisky nosers spoke the language of everyday life, detecting hints of stale seaweed, or even diesel fuel.
    3. Of scholars: having mastery over one's field, including its esoteric minutiae; learned.
    4. Of writers: deliberately employing abstruse or esoteric allusions or references; intentionally obscure.
  2. (somewhat archaic) Hidden or removed from view.
    • 1649, John Bulwer, Pathomyotomia, ii. ii. 108
      The Eye is somewhat recondit betweene its Orbite.
    • 1796, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Letters, I. 209
      My recondite eye sits distent quaintly behind the flesh-hill, and looks as little as a tomtit's.
    • 1823, Charles Lamb, Old Benchers in Elia, 190
      The young urchins,... not being able to guess at its recondite machinery, were almost tempted to hail the wondrous work as magic.
    • 1855 December – 1857 June, Charles Dickens, “Mr. Merdle’s Complaint”, in Little Dorrit, London: Bradbury and Evans, [], published 1857, OCLC 83401042, book the first (Poverty), page 185:
      How such a man should suppose himself unwell without reason, you may think strange. But I have found nothing the matter with him. He may have some deep-seated recondite complaint. I can't say. I only say, that at present I have not found it out.
    • 1887, Robert Louis Stevenson, "The Canoe Speaks" in Underwoods
      ...following the recondite brook,
      Sudden upon this scene I look,
      And light with unfamiliar face
      On chaste Diana's bathing-place
    • 2002, Nick Tosches, In the Hand of Dante, 253
      Silent calligraphy sounds that were like those of the sweet fluent water of a recondite stream.
    1. (botany, entomology, obsolete, rare) Of a structure: difficult to see, especially because it is hidden by another structure.
      • 1825, Thomas Say, Say's Entomol., Glossary, 28
        Recondite, (aculeus) concealed within the abdomen, seldom exposed to view.
    2. (chiefly zoology, rare) Avoiding notice (particularly human notice); having a tendency to hide; shy.
      Synonym: retiring
      • 1835, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 125, 361
        Animals of this class are so recondite in their habits... so little known to naturalists beyond the more common species.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

recondite (plural recondites)

  1. (rare) A recondite (hidden or obscure) person or thing.
    • 1836, [Catherine Gore], chapter VIII, in Mrs. Armytage; or, Female Domination. [...] In Three Volumes, volume II, London: Henry Colburn, [], OCLC 230659020, page 134:
      [T]he Duchess, and the dandies, and the member's wife and all the rest of their tribulations, were happily hidden from the view by the towering bouquets of the gold plateau vases at the head of the room. [...] A contra-dance after supper was felt to be a national duty; but behind those fatal vases a plot had already been concocted by the recondites for rewarding their previous self-denial, not by a quadrille, but a galoppe.
    • 1863, James Lawson, “The Earth’s Crust”, in The Earth’s Crust; or, Primogenial Scenes, and Other Poems, Edinburgh: Printed for the author by James Adamson & Co., [], OCLC 8402886, part II, page 49:
      Whether subsidence plunged the huge morass, / With vegetation, soil, and trees, en masse— / Or, if the flood had drown'd the boggy all, / As streaming torrents roar'd in surly bawl— / Let dons decide, on whom these points devolve; / Such recondites are truely hard to solve.
    • 1887, Talbot Baines Reed, “Thomas and John James, 1710”, in A History of the Old English Letter Foundries, [], London: Elliot Stock, [], OCLC 906242451, footnote 1, page 225:
      Such as those which being uniques cannot be perfected without new punches, and if they were made complete, it would be no more than oleum et operam, etc., because they are either out of use or the times afford better, as the Antique Hebrew (spec. 7); Leusden's Samaritan (spec. 27); 2-line Great Primer Hebrew (spec. 38); the Runic, Gothic, and other recondites, the matrices for which are incomplete or useless.
  2. (rare) A scholar or other person who is recondite, that is, who has mastery over his or her field, including its esoteric minutiae.
    • 1856, “The Collected Works of Dugald Stewart, Esq., F.R.S. Edited by Sir William Hamilton, Bart. Volume VIII. Constable and Co., Edinburgh; Hamilton and Co., London. [book review]”, in John Campbell, editor, The Christian Witness, and Church Members Magazine, volume XIII, London: Published by John Snow, [], OCLC 720089181, page 88:
      Here we have an uncommon acquaintance with the conditions of society in the mass, which, perhaps, some of our recondites would hardly be disposed to expect in the case of a man of a character so eminent and philosophical as [Dugald] Stewart, and addicted to studies removing him so far from the sphere of common mortals.
    • 1960, Charles V. Kidd, “The Influence of Scientific and Technological Trends on Administration”, in Edmund N. Fulker, editor, The Influences of Social, Scientific, and Economic Trends on Government Administration (The William A. Jump–I. Thomas McKillop Memorial Lectures in Public Administration), Washington, D.C.: Graduate School, U.S. Department of Agriculture, OCLC 498113, page 50:
      If the administrative economists should adopt the widespread practice of their pedagogue colleagues and express themselves, in major policy papers as elsewhere, in mathematical equations rather than words, administrative prerogative would be reinforced by recourse to the professional recondites. [...] This is a serious matter, since any obscurantism and any retreat from public accountability by the civil service cause distrust of people against their government, and of the legislative branch against the bureaucracy.
    • 1976, Coda Magazine: The Journal of Jazz and Improvised Music, Toronto, Ont.: Coda Publishing, ISSN 0010-017X, OCLC 183340669, page 25, column 1:
      They are on middle ground now, that area of jazz which welcomes hardy perennials as well as mellowed recondites.

Verb[edit]

recondite (third-person singular simple present recondites, present participle reconditing, simple past and past participle recondited)

  1. (transitive, obsolete, rare) To conceal, cover up, hide.
    • 1578, John Banister, The Historie of Man, Sucked from the Sappe of the Most Approued Anathomistes, in this Present Age, [], London: Printed by Iohn Daye, [], OCLC 837378384, book I, folio 32:
      Tendons: recondited, and hidde in their Muscle, as if they were in a purse imposed.
    • 1754, John Fraser, A Treatise Containing a Description of Deuteroscopia, Commonly Called the Second Sight, Edinburgh: [Printed and published by Andrew Simson], OCLC 728286119, page 13:
      Theſe Species are conveyed to the Brain by the Optick Nerve, and are laid up in the Magazine of the Memory, otherways we ſhould not remember the Object any longer than it is in our Preference; and a remembring of thoſe Objects is nothing elſe but the Fancy's reviewing, or more properly the Soul of Man by the Fancy reviewing of theſe intentional Species, formerly received from the viſible Object unto the Organ of the Eye, and recondited into the Seat of the Memory.
    • 1817 January, “Art. I.—Philosophical Essays; to which are Subjoined, Copious Notes, Critical and Explanatory, and a Supplementary Narrative; with an Appendix. By James Ogilvie. Philadelphia. 1816. 8vo. pp. 413.”, in The Analectic Magazine, Containing Selections from Foreign Reviews and Magazines, together with Original Miscellaneous Compositions, volume ix, Philadelphia, Pa.: Published and sold by Moses Thomas, [], OCLC 974441451, essay III (On the Modern Abuse of Moral Fiction, in the Shape of Novels), page 29:
      To detail with perspicuity and elegance the facts which are recondited and preserved by others, is comparatively so easy a task, that a person of very limited experience might perform it with success; [...]
    • 1973, Black Images: A Critical Quarterly on Black Culture, volume 2, Toronto, Ont.: Black Images Incorporated, OCLC 1080195188, page 33, column 2:
      The explorer or conquistador wanders, and yet his wandering is not totally random, it is ramose because as he goes upstream, as he follows the waterway each confluence becomes the source of emergent meaning. Donne and crew travel along the ramose path, along the river which recondites the opposites – life and death.
    • 1990, A. P. Madan, The History of the Rāṣṭrakūṭas, New Delhi: Harman Publishing House, →ISBN, page 124:
      [...] Gaṅgas at the instigation of the lord of the Raṭṭas, cut off the head of Maṅgi in battle, terrified Kṛṣṇa and his ally Saṅkila, and burnt their capital (name not recorded), which obviously recondites the eventual theme of Chālukya-Rāṣṭrakūṭa relationship during the reigns of both Amoghavarṣa I and Kṛṣṇa II.

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Italian[edit]

Adjective[edit]

recondite

  1. feminine plural of recondito

Anagrams[edit]


Latin[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

recondite

  1. second-person plural present active imperative of recondō