There are 2 main definitions of mystery in English:

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mystery1

Syllabification: mys·ter·y
Pronunciation: /ˈmist(ə)rē
 
/

noun (plural mysteries)

1Something that is difficult or impossible to understand or explain: the mysteries of outer space hoping that the inquest would solve the mystery
More example sentences
  • Contrary to public perceptions, science can help understand and explain the mysteries of emotion.
  • However all was explained and the mystery was solved very quickly.
  • The technique of the mystery is thus explained, but the mystery remains.
Synonyms
puzzle, enigma, conundrum, riddle, secret, problem, unsolved problem
1.1The condition or quality of being secret, strange, or difficult to explain: much of her past is shrouded in mystery
More example sentences
  • The Valley was wedged in-between the two countries, being obscured in mystery and darkness and confusion.
  • Ambassadors used to have a scent of mystery, secrecy and even of romance about them.
  • In the days when he worked for the CIA, the agency was shrouded in secrecy and cloaked in mystery.
Synonyms
secrecy, obscurity, uncertainty, mystique
1.2A person or thing whose identity or nature is puzzling or unknown: “He’s a bit of a mystery,” said Nina [as modifier]: a mystery guest
More example sentences
  • I quickly went over to the desk and starting sifting through the papers, looking for a clue to the identity of our mystery guest.
  • Looks like our mystery guest blogger decided to reveal his true identity.
  • Click here for the identity of the mystery candidate.
2A novel, play, or movie dealing with a puzzling crime, especially a murder.
Example sentences
  • Thrillers, mysteries and crime novels are perennial favorites for summertime reading.
  • Further compounding the peril is the fact that this is basically a murder mystery, a whodunit with slasher overtones.
  • The story is a fairly set piece murder mystery, or murder thriller.
Synonyms
thriller, murder mystery, detective story/novel, murder story, crime novel
informal whodunit
3 (mysteries) The secret rites of Greek and Roman pagan religion, or of any ancient or tribal religion, to which only initiates are admitted.
Example sentences
  • His Protrepticus is a copious source of information about the Greek mysteries, though his wish to represent them as a perversion of Scriptural teachings must have led to misrepresentation.
  • With folded hands, Ashoka begged enlightenment and initiation into the mysteries of the Dharma of Samudra.
  • The two strangers are not serious; there are jests at the mysteries which precede the enthronement, and he is being initiated into the mysteries of the sophistical ritual.
3.1The practices, skills, or lore peculiar to a particular trade or activity and regarded as baffling to those without specialized knowledge: the mysteries of analytical psychology
More example sentences
  • To judge of the perfection of debtors by the numerosity of their creditors is the readiest way for entering into the mysteries of practical arithmetic.
  • Indian nuclear scientists say they have unpeeled one of the great mysteries of the soft-drinks trade - how to extract juice from bananas cheaply and simply.
  • It is, I think, true to say that many practising accountants no longer try to unravel the mysteries of the legislation by reading its provisions.
3.2The Christian Eucharist.
4chiefly Christian Theology A religious belief based on divine revelation, especially one regarded as beyond human understanding: the mystery of Christ
More example sentences
  • Trinity Sunday celebrates the belief in the incomprehensible mystery of God, not only as Spirit, but also as God creator and God incarnate.
  • For a Christian, the answer is in the incarnation: because the divine mystery is made flesh.
  • In him, we can see the ultimate mystery of God in human form.
4.1An incident in the life of Jesus or of a saint as a focus of devotion in the Roman Catholic Church, especially each of those commemorated during recitation of successive decades of the rosary.
Example sentences
  • Walking through the Stations of the Cross or praying the rosary is another way to contemplate the mysteries of Jesus.
  • In that letter, he added five new mysteries to the rosary, and declared that his twenty-fifth anniversary year would be known as the Year of the Rosary.
  • Does he promulgate new mysteries for the Rosary?

Origin

Middle English (in the sense 'mystic presence, hidden religious symbolism'): from Old French mistere or Latin mysterium, from Greek mustērion; related to mystic.

More
  • Mystery goes back to Greek mustērion, which is related to mystic (Middle English) and mystify (early 19th century). In ancient Greece mysteries were secret religious ceremonies witnessed only by the initiated, who were sworn never to disclose their nature. In Christianity the word means either a truth long kept secret but now revealed through Christ, or something of symbolic significance. The first English uses of mystery were in religious contexts, but it soon spread into wider use for something inexplicable or beyond human comprehension, and then for simply a puzzle or conundrum. In the heyday of British coach parties the mystery tour to an unspecified destination was popular. The Beatles went one stop further with their Magical Mystery Tour, an album and TV film of 1967.

Words that rhyme with mystery

consistory, history

Definition of mystery in:

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There are 2 main definitions of mystery in English:

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mystery2

Syllabification: mys·ter·y
Pronunciation: /ˈmist(ə)rē
 
/

noun (plural mysteries)

archaic

Origin

late Middle English: from medieval Latin misterium, contraction of ministerium 'ministry', by association with mysterium (see mystery1).

More
  • Mystery goes back to Greek mustērion, which is related to mystic (Middle English) and mystify (early 19th century). In ancient Greece mysteries were secret religious ceremonies witnessed only by the initiated, who were sworn never to disclose their nature. In Christianity the word means either a truth long kept secret but now revealed through Christ, or something of symbolic significance. The first English uses of mystery were in religious contexts, but it soon spread into wider use for something inexplicable or beyond human comprehension, and then for simply a puzzle or conundrum. In the heyday of British coach parties the mystery tour to an unspecified destination was popular. The Beatles went one stop further with their Magical Mystery Tour, an album and TV film of 1967.

Definition of mystery in:

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