Mystery definition

mĭstə-rē
Frequency:
One that is not fully understood or that baffles or eludes the understanding; an enigma.

How he got in is a mystery.

noun
22
12
(theol.) Any religious truth made known only by divine revelation and accepted through faith.
noun
8
0
One whose identity is unknown and who arouses curiosity.

The woman in the photograph is a mystery.

noun
13
6
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.

noun
5
0
The consecrated elements of the Eucharist.
noun
5
0
Advertisement
Someone or something with an obscure or puzzling nature.

That man is a mystery.

noun
4
0
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.

noun
17
14
Something unexplained, unknown, or kept secret.

The mystery of life.

noun
15
12
A craft or trade.
noun
3
0
noun
3
0
Advertisement
A mystery play.
noun
3
1
Something secret or unexplainable; an unknown.

The truth behind the events remains a mystery.

noun
2
0
A secret rite of such a cult.
noun
2
1
An incident from the life of Jesus, especially the Incarnation, Passion, Crucifixion, or Resurrection, of particular importance for redemption.
noun
2
1
A religious cult practicing secret rites to which only initiates are admitted.
noun
1
1
Advertisement
A novel, story, or play involving such an event, esp. one involving a crime and the gradual discovery of who committed it.
noun
1
1
Secret rites or doctrines known only to a small, esoteric group; specif., in ancient Greece, religious ceremonies or doctrines revealed only to the initiated.
noun
1
1
Any of the ancient cults characterized by such ceremonies.

The Eleusinian mysteries.

noun
1
1
A sacrament; esp. the Eucharist.
noun
1
1
(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.

noun
1
1
Advertisement
(chiefly in the plural) A secret religious celebration, to which none were admitted except those who had been initiated.

The Eleusinian mysteries.

noun
1
1
A mysterious character or quality.

A landscape with mystery and charm.

noun
5
6
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.
noun
0
1
One of the sacraments, especially the Eucharist.
noun
0
1
A trade or occupation.
noun
0
1
Advertisement
A guild, as of merchants or artisans.
noun
0
1
Any thing or event that remains so secret or obscure as to excite curiosity.

The new employee's past is a bit of a mystery.

noun
0
1
Any of fifteen (or, now often, twenty) events in the lives of Jesus and Mary serving as a subject for meditation during the praying of the rosary.
noun
0
1
The quality of being inexplicable; obscurity or secrecy.

An air of mystery surrounding the affair.

noun
3
5
A work of fiction, a drama, or a film dealing with a puzzling crime.
noun
2
8
Advertisement
A religious truth that is incomprehensible to reason and knowable only through divine revelation.
noun
1
7
noun
0
6

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
mystery
Plural:
mysteries

Origin of mystery

  • Middle 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 mystery2

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Middle English misterie from Medieval Latin misterium alteration (influenced by Latin mystērium secret rite) of Latin ministerium from minister assistant, servant mei-2 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English mysterie, from Latin mysterium, from Ancient Greek μυστήριον (musterion, “a mystery, a secret, a secret rite"), from μύστης (mustÄ“s, “initiated one"), from μυέω (mueō, “I initiate"), from μύω (muō, “I shut").

    From Wiktionary