Definitions for mysteryˈmɪs tə ri, -tri

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word mystery

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

mys•ter•yˈmɪs tə ri, -tri(n.)(pl.)-ter•ies.

  1. anything that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown:

    the mysteries of nature.

  2. a person or thing having qualities that arouse curiosity or speculation:

    The masked guest was a mystery to everyone.

  3. a novel, film, or the like whose plot involves the solving of a puzzle, esp. a crime.

    Category: Literature, Showbiz

  4. the quality of being obscure or puzzling:

    an air of mystery.

  5. any truth unknowable except by divine revelation.

    Category: Religion

  6. (in the Christian religion) a sacramental rite. the Eucharist.

    Category: Religion

  7. an incident or scene in the life or passion of Christ, or in the life of the Virgin Mary.

    Category: Religion

  8. mysteries, ancient religions with secret rites and rituals known only to initiates. any rites or secrets known only to initiates. (in the Christian religion) the Eucharistic elements.

    Category: Religion

  9. Category: Religion

    Ref: mystery play.

Origin of mystery:

1275–1325; ME < L mystērium < Gk mystḗrion=mýs(tēs) (see mystic ) + -tērion n. suffix

mys•ter•y*ˈmɪs tə ri(n.)(pl.)-ter•ies.

  1. a craft or trade.

  2. a guild, as of merchants.

* Archaic..

Origin of mystery:

1325–75; 蠐 L ministeriumministry

Princeton's WordNet

  1. mystery, enigma, secret, closed book(noun)

    something that baffles understanding and cannot be explained

    "how it got out is a mystery"; "it remains one of nature's secrets"

  2. mystery, mystery story, whodunit(noun)

    a story about a crime (usually murder) presented as a novel or play or movie

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. mystery(noun)ˈmɪs tə ri

    sth difficult to understand, or the quality of being difficult to understand

    the mystery of what happens after death; It's a mystery to me why you're never on time.; events surrounded by mystery

  2. mysteryˈmɪs tə ri

    a story or movie about strange, puzzling events

    I like mysteries.

  3. mysteryˈmɪs tə ri

    sb or sth that is interesting because of being secret or unknown

    He was always a little bit of a mystery.; a mystery guest


  1. mystery(Noun)

    Something secret or unexplainable; unknown.

    The truth behind the events remains a mystery.

  2. mystery(Noun)

    Someone or thing with an obscure or puzzling nature.

    That man is a mystery.

  3. mystery(Noun)

    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.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Mystery(adj)

    a profound secret; something wholly unknown, or something kept cautiously concealed, and therefore exciting curiosity or wonder; something which has not been or can not be explained; hence, specifically, that which is beyond human comprehension

  2. Mystery(adj)

    a kind of secret religious celebration, to which none were admitted except those who had been initiated by certain preparatory ceremonies; -- usually plural; as, the Eleusinian mysteries

  3. Mystery(adj)

    the consecrated elements in the eucharist

  4. Mystery(adj)

    anything artfully made difficult; an enigma

  5. Mystery(noun)

    a trade; a handicraft; hence, any business with which one is usually occupied

  6. Mystery(noun)

    a dramatic representation of a Scriptural subject, often some event in the life of Christ; a dramatic composition of this character; as, the Chester Mysteries, consisting of dramas acted by various craft associations in that city in the early part of the 14th century


  1. Mystery

    Mystery fiction is a loosely-defined term. It is often used as a synonym for detective fiction or crime fiction—in other words a novel or short story in which a detective investigates and solves a crime mystery. Sometimes mystery books are nonfiction. The term "mystery fiction" may sometimes be limited to the subset of detective stories in which the emphasis is on the puzzle/suspense element and its logical solution, as a contrast to hardboiled detective stories, which focus on action and gritty realism. Although normally associated with the crime genre, the term "mystery fiction" may in certain situations refer to a completely different genre, where the focus is on supernatural or thriller mystery. This usage was common in the pulp magazines of the 1930s and 1940s, where titles such as Dime Mystery, Thrilling Mystery and Spicy Mystery offered what at the time were described as "weird menace" stories—supernatural horror in the vein of Grand Guignol. This contrasted with parallel titles of the same names which contained conventional hardboiled crime fiction. The first use of "mystery" in this sense was by Dime Mystery, which started out as an ordinary crime fiction magazine but switched to "weird menace" during the latter part of 1933.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'mystery' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4076

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'mystery' in Nouns Frequency: #1462

Translations for mystery

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


something that cannot be, or has not been, explained

the mystery of how the universe was formed; the mystery of his disappearance; How she passed her exam is a mystery to me.

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