September 26, 2012
enigma (noun)
\ih-NIG-muh\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: something hard to understand or explain
How do you use it?
For centuries, art lovers have gazed at Leonardo da Vinci's painting of the Mona Lisa and tried to solve the enigma of her smile.
Are you a word wiz?

Which one of these words do you think is a synonym of "enigma"?

"Enigma" and "puzzle" both mean something that is a challenge to figure out. "Enigma" applies to words or actions that are very difficult to interpret correctly. ("What she meant by her last remark was an enigma.") "Puzzle" refers to a tricky problem that challenges a person to provide a solution. ("It's a puzzle who took the chairs from the room.") "Mystery," another synonym, applies to what cannot be fully understood by human reason or easily explained. ("Scholars have long sought to unlock the mystery surrounding those ancient temples.").
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