WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
mys•ter•y1 /ˈmɪstəri, -tri/USA pronunciation   n., pl.  -er•ies. 
  1. anything kept secret or unexplained or unknown:[countable]the mysteries of nature.
  2. a person or thing that arouses curiosity or wonder:[countable]The guest was a mystery to everyone.
  3. Literature[countable] a novel, film, or the like with a plot involving the solving of a puzzle, esp. a crime.
  4. the quality of being hidden, hard to understand, or puzzling:[uncountable]The place has an air of mystery about it.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
mys•ter•y1  (mistə rē, -trē),USA pronunciation n., pl.  -ter•ies. 
  1. anything that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown:the mysteries of nature.
  2. any affair, thing, or person that presents features or qualities so obscure as to arouse curiosity or speculation:The masked guest is an absolute mystery to everyone.
  3. Show Business, Literaturea novel, short story, play, or film whose plot involves a crime or other event that remains puzzlingly unsettled until the very end:a mystery by Agatha Christie.
  4. obscure, puzzling, or mysterious quality or character:the mystery of Mona Lisa's smile.
  5. Religionany truth that is unknowable except by divine revelation.
  6. Religion(in the Christian religion)
    • a sacramental rite.
    • the Eucharist.
  7. Religionan incident or scene in connection with the life of Christ, regarded as of special significance:the mysteries of the Passion.
  8. Religionany of the 15 events in the lives of Christ and the Virgin Mary meditated upon during the recitation of the rosary.
  9. Religionmysteries: 
    • ancient religions that admitted candidates by secret rites and rituals the meaning of which was known only to initiated worshipers.
    • any rites or secrets known only to those initiated:the mysteries of Freemasonry.
    • (in the Christian religion) the Eucharistic elements.
  10. ReligionSee  mystery play. 
  • Greek mysté̄rion, equivalent. to mýs(tēs) (see mystic) + -tērion noun, nominal suffix
  • Latin mystērium
  • Middle English mysterie 1275–1325
    • 4.See corresponding entry in Unabridged puzzle, problem, secret, riddle.

mys•ter•y2  (mistə rē),USA pronunciation n., pl.  -ter•ies. [Archaic.]
  1. a craft or trade.
  2. a guild, as of merchants.
  • Medieval Latin misterium, variant of Latin ministerium ministry
  • Middle English mistery 1325–75

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

mystery /ˈmɪstərɪ -trɪ/ n ( pl -teries)
  1. an unexplained or inexplicable event, phenomenon, etc
  2. a person or thing that arouses curiosity or suspense because of an unknown, obscure, or enigmatic quality
  3. the state or quality of being obscure, inexplicable, or enigmatic
  4. a story, film, etc, which arouses suspense and curiosity because of facts concealed
  5. any truth that is divinely revealed but otherwise unknowable
  6. a sacramental rite, such as the Eucharist, or (when plural) the consecrated elements of the Eucharist
  7. (often plural) any of various rites of certain ancient Mediterranean religions
  8. short for mystery play
Etymology: 14th Century: via Latin from Greek mustērion secret rites. See mystic
mystery /ˈmɪstərɪ/ n ( pl -teries) archaic
  1. a trade, occupation, or craft
  2. a guild of craftsmen
Etymology: 14th Century: from Medieval Latin mistērium, from Latin ministerium occupation, from minister official

'mystery' also found in these entries:
Collocations: a [complete, total, magical, murder] mystery, a mystery [movie, book, murder, show, series, tour], [solve, understand, unravel] the mystery, more...

Forum discussions with the word(s) "mystery" in the title:

Look up "mystery" at Merriam-Webster
Look up "mystery" at

In other languages: Spanish | French | Italian | Portuguese | Romanian | German | Dutch | Swedish | Russian | Polish | Czech | Greek | Turkish | Chinese | Japanese | Korean | Arabic


Word of the day: rest | whisk


Report an inappropriate ad.