The definition of mysterious is something that is not understood or known.
An example of something mysterious is an old man who lives in a house and never comes outside.
of, containing, implying, or characterized by mystery
Origin of mysteriousfrom Classical Latin mysterium (see mystery) + -ous
- Of, relating to, or being a religious mystery: mysterious and infinite truths.
- Arousing wonder or curiosity, especially by being difficult to explain or understand: the mysterious disappearance of the relevant files.
Origin of mysteriousFrench mystérieux from mystère secret from Latin mystērium ; see mystery 1.
mysterious esoteric arcane occult inscrutable
These adjectives mean beyond human power to explain or understand. Something mysterious arouses wonder and inquisitiveness: “The sea lies all about us᠁ In its mysterious past it encompasses all the dim origins of life” (Rachel Carson). What is esoteric is mysterious because only a select group knows and understands it: a compilation of esoteric philosophical essays. Arcane applies to what is hidden from general knowledge: arcane economic theories. Occult suggests knowledge reputedly gained only by secret, magical, or supernatural means: an occult rite. Something that is inscrutable cannot be fathomed by means of investigation or scrutiny: “It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence” (Earl of Birkenhead).
(comparative more mysterious, superlative most mysterious)
- Of unknown origin
- Having unknown qualities