(of areas of study and literature) Difficult, obscure; particularly:
# Abstruse, profound, difficult to grasp
#* 1619 , John Bainbridge, Astronomicall description of the late comet , 42
#* ante'' 1894 , (Robert Louis Stevenson), ''Amateur Emigrant (1895), 40
- I hope this new Messenger from Heauen]] doth bring happie tidings of some munificent and liberall Patron... by whose gracious bountie the most recondite mysteries of this abstruse and [[divine, diuine science shall at length be manifested.
# Esoteric, little known; secret
#* 1644 , John Bulwer, Chirologia: or The naturall language of the hand. Whereunto is added Chironomic or the Art of manuall rhetoricke , 137
- Humanly speaking, it is a more important matter to play the fiddle, even badly, than to write huge works upon recondite subjects.
#* 1722 , F. Lee, Epistolary Discourses , 41
- There 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]] [[laws, Lawes.
#* 1817 , (Samuel Taylor Coleridge), Biographia Literaria , I. iii. 65
- The Apostle Paul had taken up many things out of these Recondite and Apocryphal Writings.
#* 1849 , (Herman Melville), Mardi: and A Voyage Thither , II. §67
- [Of Southey:] I look in vain for any writer who has conveyed so much information, from so many and such recondite sources.
#* 1921 , (Joseph Conrad), Secret Agent'', Preface in ''Works , VIII. page xvii
- But I beseech thee, wise Doxodox! instruct me in thy dialectics, that I may embrace thy more recondite lore.
#* 1948 , (William Somerset Maugham), Catalina , xv. 83
- Suggestions for certain personages... came from various sources which... some reader may have recognized. They are not very recondite .
#* 1992 Autumn, American Scholar , 576/1
- He was never at a loss for a recondite allusion.
#* 2004 , Alexander McCall Smith, Sunday Philosophy Club , xxi. 224
- It was hardly foreordained that a poor orphan from darkest Brittany... working in the recondite realms of Semitic philology, should play such a role in his time.
# (of writers) Deliberately obscure; employing abstruse or esoteric allusions or references
#* 1788 , Vicesimus Knox, Winter Evenings , II. v. i. 109
- While oenophiles resorted to recondite adjectives, whisky [sic] nosers spoke the language of everyday life.
#* 1817 , (Samuel Taylor Coleridge), Biographia literaria; or, Biographical sketches of my literary life and opinions , II. xxii. 172
- They afford a lesson to the modern metaphysical and recondite writers not to overvalue their works.
#* 2004 Autumn, American Scholar , 129
- In the play of fancy, , to my feelings, is not always graceful and sometimes recondite .
# (of scholars) Learnèd]], having mastery over one's field, including its esoteric [[minutiæ
#* 1836 , (Edward Bulwer-Lytton), "Sir Thomas Browne" in The Critical and Miscellaneous Writings of Sir Edward Lytton (1841),
- The voices of recondite writers quoted at length, forgotten storytellers weaving narratives, obscure scholars savaging one another.
#* 1891 , George T. Ferris, The Great German Composers
- It is delightful to see this recondite scholar — this contemplative and refining dreamer — in the centre of his happy nor unworthy household.
#* 1998 , , Art for Art's Sake & Literary Life ,
- [Of ]: Our musician rapidly became known far and wide throughout the musical centres of Germany as a learned and recondite composer.
Hidden or removed from view
* 1649 , John Bulwer, Pathomyotomia , ii. ii. 108
- Cousin's lectures take their initial cue from the weighty treatises of a remote, recondite thinker named (Immanuel Kant).
* 1796 , (Samuel Taylor Coleridge), Letters , I. 209
- The Eye is somewhat recondit betweene its Orbite.
* 1823 , (Charles Lamb), Old Benchers in Elia , 190
- My recondite eye sits distent quaintly behind the flesh-hill, and looks as little as a tomtit's.
* 1825 , Thomas Say, Say's Entomol. , Glossary, 28
- The young urchins,... not being able to guess at its recondite machinery, were almost tempted to hail the wondrous work as magic.
* 1857 , (Charles Dickens), Little Dorrit , §21
- Recondite , (aculeus) concealed within the abdomen, seldom exposed to view.
* 1887 , (Robert Louis Stevenson), "The Canoe Speaks" in Underwoods
- 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.
- ...following the recondite brook,
- Sudden upon this scene I look,
- And light with unfamiliar face
* 2002 , Nick Tosches, In the Hand of Dante , 253
- On chaste Diana's bathing-place
Shy, avoiding notice (particularly human notice)
* 1835 , Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society , 125, 361
- Silent calligraphy sounds that were like those of the sweet fluent water of a recondite stream.
- Animals of this class are so recondite in their habits... so little known to naturalists beyond the more common species.
to hide, cover up, conceal
* 1578 , John Banister, The History of Man , i. f. 32
- Tendons: recondited , and hidde in their Muscle, as if they were in a purse imposed.
* Oxford English Dictionary , 3rd ed. "recondite, adj." and "v." Oxford University Press (Oxford), 2009.
Exhibiting guilty or evasive secrecy.
* 1949 , George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four , p31
- But that was merely a piece of furtive knowledge which he happened to possess because his memory was not satisfactorily under control.
* (stealthy) surreptitious
* See also