mysterious

adjective
mys·​te·​ri·​ous | \ mis-ˈtir-ē-əs \

Definition of mysterious

1a : of, relating to, or constituting mystery the mysterious ways of God
b : exciting wonder, curiosity, or surprise while baffling efforts to comprehend or identify : mystifying heard a mysterious noise a mysterious stranger a mysterious plane crash a mysterious illness
2 : stirred by or attracted to the inexplicable … to help a mysterious wizard … ward off the end of the world with blood sacrifices.— Robert Houston

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Other Words from mysterious

mysteriously adverb
mysteriousness noun

Examples of mysterious in a Sentence

the mysterious ways of nature We heard a mysterious noise outside our tent. He died under mysterious circumstances. A mysterious illness has been spreading through the city. There's something mysterious about that old woman. Her behavior was very mysterious.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The reasons for this, however, are not that mysterious. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Top House Democrats join Elizabeth Warren’s push to fundamentally change American capitalism," 14 Dec. 2018 The origins of bands were so mysterious before the Internet, and the Spinanes felt like that to me in 1993—a discovery. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Talking to Rebecca Gates of the Spinanes, as Manos—a Lost ’90s Indie Rock Classic—Gets a Deluxe Reissue," 5 Dec. 2018 Other lines of questioning from Democrats have been more mysterious, suggesting an effort to lay a trap. Alex Pappas | Fox News, Fox News, "‘Confidential’ Kavanaugh emails posted by Cory Booker were cleared, despite dramatic claim of defying rules," 2 Oct. 2018 At the time of grid cells' discovery, its precise function was mysterious, in part because there didn't seem to be much of a pattern to the electrical activity among those cells. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Scientists found brain’s internal clock that influences how we perceive time," 31 Aug. 2018 That substance remained mysterious for several years, until a new analysis by researchers at the University of Catania and Cairo University revealed its true nature: cheese. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers Find 3,000 Year Old Cheese," 20 Aug. 2018 But when a mysterious look-alike takes over her account and pretends to be her, Alice must struggle to get back her identity. Carl Kelsch, Marie Claire, "'Cam' Is the Sex-Positive Horror Movie You Have to See," 24 Dec. 2018 The Caye, the peninsula, and the sea frame one of those precious, pleasant places, where deeper histories feel palpable and still mysterious. Horatio Clare, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why You Should Go to Belize Now," 21 Dec. 2018 But the mathematician’s urge is to understand the logical core of everything around us, especially the things that are basic on the surface but mysterious deep down. Eugenia Cheng, WSJ, "Holidays Are for Counting," 5 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mysterious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of mysterious

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for mysterious

mystery entry 1 + -ous, probably after Middle French mysterieux

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Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for mysterious

The first known use of mysterious was in 1578

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More Definitions for mysterious

mysterious

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of mysterious

: strange, unknown, or difficult to understand

mysterious

adjective
mys·​te·​ri·​ous | \ mi-ˈstir-ē-əs \

Kids Definition of mysterious

: strange, unknown, or hard to understand or explain a mysterious noise a mysterious stranger

Other Words from mysterious

mysteriously adverb She mysteriously disappeared.
mysteriousness noun

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Comments on mysterious

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