noun, plural e·nig·mas; Chiefly Archaic e·nig·ma·ta [uh–nig-muh-tuh] /əˈnɪg mə tə/.
- a puzzling or inexplicable occurrence or situation: His disappearance is an enigma that has given rise to much speculation.
- a person of puzzling or contradictory character: To me he has always been an enigma, one minute completely insensitive, the next moved to tears.
- a saying, question, picture, etc., containing a hidden meaning; riddle.
- (initial capital letter) a German-built enciphering machine developed for commercial use in the early 1920s and later adapted and appropriated by German and other Axis powers for military use through World War II.
- a person, thing, or situation that is mysterious, puzzling, or ambiguous
1580s, earlier enigmate (mid-15c.), from Latin aenigma “riddle,” from Greek ainigma (plural ainigmata), from ainissesthai “speak obscurely, speak in riddles,” from ainos “fable, riddle,” of unknown origin.