mystery[mis′tə rē, mis′trē]
- Mystery is defined as something that is a secret, something where there is no clear explanation, something difficult to understand or explain or something unexplainable or unsolvable.
- An example of a mystery is the location of your Christmas presents.
- An example of a mystery is whether there is proof that God exists.
- An example of a mystery is how exactly people came to be.
- An example of a mystery is a situation where it is unclear who committed a crime.
- something unexplained, unknown, or kept secret: the mystery of life
- any thing or event that remains so secret or obscure as to excite curiosity: a murder mystery
- a novel, story, or play involving such an event, esp. a crime and the gradual discovery of who committed it
- the quality of being inexplicable; obscurity or secrecy: an air of mystery surrounding the affair
- secret rites or doctrines known only to a small, esoteric group; specif., in ancient Greece, religious ceremonies or doctrines revealed only to the initiated
- any of the ancient cults characterized by such ceremonies: the Eleusinian mysteries
Origin of mystery? infl. by mystery mystery play
- a sacrament; esp. the Eucharist
- any of fifteen events in the lives of Jesus and Mary serving as a subject for meditation during the saying of the rosary
- Theol. any religious truth made known only by divine revelation and accepted through faith
Origin of mysteryMiddle English mysterye ; from Classical Latin mysterium (in New Testament , supernatural thing) ; from Classical Greek mystērion, a secret rite (in New Testament , divine secret) ; from mystēs, one initiated into the mysteries ; from myein, to initiate into the mysteries, origin, originally , to close: see myope
- a craft or trade
- guild (sense )
Origin of mysteryaltered ; from Middle English misterie, a trade, craft ; from Medieval Latin misterium, altered ; from Classical Latin ministerium, office, occupation (see minister), by confusion with mysterium (see mystery)
- One that is not fully understood or that baffles or eludes the understanding; an enigma: How he got in is a mystery.
- One whose identity is unknown and who arouses curiosity: The woman in the photograph is a mystery.
- A mysterious character or quality: a landscape with mystery and charm.
- A work of fiction, a drama, or a film dealing with a puzzling crime.
- a. A religious cult practicing secret rites to which only initiates are admitted.b. A secret rite of such a cult.
- A religious truth that is incomprehensible to reason and knowable only through divine revelation.
- Christianity a. An incident from the life of Jesus, especially the Incarnation, Passion, Crucifixion, or Resurrection, of particular importance for redemption.b. One of the 15 incidents from the lives of Jesus or the Blessed Virgin Mary, such as the Annunciation or the Ascension, serving in Roman Catholicism as the subject of meditation during recitation of the rosary.
- a. also Mystery One of the sacraments, especially the Eucharist.b. mysteries The consecrated elements of the Eucharist.
- often mysteries The skills, lore, or practices that are peculiar to a particular activity or group and are regarded as the special province of initiates: the mysteries of Freemasonry; the mysteries of cooking game.
- A mystery play.
Origin of mysteryMiddle English misterie, from Latin mystērium, from Greek mustērion, secret rite, from mustēs, an initiate, from mūein, to close the eyes, initiate. Senses 8, 9, and perhaps 10, partly from Middle English misterie, occupation, craft-guild; see mystery2.
nounpl. mys·ter·ies Archaic
- A trade or occupation.
- A guild, as of merchants or artisans.
Origin of mysteryMiddle English misterie, from Medieval Latin misterium, alteration (influenced by Latin mystērium, secret rite) of Latin ministerium, from minister, assistant, servant; see mei-2 in Indo-European roots.
- Something secret or unexplainable; an unknown.
- The truth behind the events remains a mystery.
- Someone or something with an obscure or puzzling nature.
- That man is a mystery.
- (Catholicism) A particular event or series of events in the life of Christ.
- The second decade of the Rosary concerns the Sorrowful mysteries, such as the crucifixion and the crowning with thorns.
- (chiefly in the plural) A secret religious celebration, to which none were admitted except those who had been initiated.
- the Eleusinian mysteries