Subtle vs Cryptic - What's the difference?

subtle | cryptic |


As adjectives the difference between subtle and cryptic

is that subtle is hard to grasp; not obvious or easily understood; barely noticeable while cryptic is having hidden meaning.

As a noun cryptic is

(informal) a cryptic crossword.

subtle

English

Alternative forms

* subtil (obsolete) * subtile (obsolete)

Adjective

(er)
  • Hard to grasp; not obvious or easily understood; barely noticeable.
  • The difference is subtle , but you can hear it if you listen carefully.
  • (of a thing) Cleverly contrived.
  • (of a person or animal) Cunning, skillful.
  • insidious
  • * 1623 , , act iv, scene 4,
  • Thy age confirmed, proud, subtle , bloody, treacherous.
  • Tenuous; rarefied; of low density or thin consistency.
  • Synonyms

    * crafty, cunning, skillful * (insidious) insidious

    Antonyms

    * (hard to grasp) simple

    Derived terms

    * subtle body * subtleness * subtlety * subtly

    References

    * * *

    Anagrams

    * * * *

    cryptic

    Alternative forms

    * cryptick (obsolete)

    Adjective

    (en adjective)
  • Having hidden meaning.
  • Mystified or of an obscure nature.
  • * Glanvill
  • Her [nature's] more cryptic ways of working.
  • Involving use of code or cipher/cypher.
  • (zoology) Well camouflaged; having good camouflage.
  • Lonomia caterpillars are extremely cryptic .

    Noun

    (en noun)
  • (informal) A cryptic crossword.
  • * 1996 , Mary McCarthy, Remember Me (page 85)
  • He settled down to the cryptic in the Independent . He loved his crossword. It kept him mentally active, just as gossip did his wife.
  • * 2009 , Bill Taylor, Building a crossword'' (in ''Toronto Star , 1 February 2009)
  • This writer has been solving cryptics for 40 years and can usually crack Araucaria, though it might take a couple of days.

    Derived terms

    * cryptically * cryptogram