mys·​te·​ri·​ous | \ mi-ˈstir-ē-əs How to pronounce mysterious (audio) \

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

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 This mysterious liquid-to-solid transition is more like teenagers caught at a kegger: frozen exactly in place, with no order whatsoever. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Discover a New State of Matter: Liquid Glass," 6 Jan. 2021 Regardless, this apocalyptic drama, about what happens when a mysterious occurrence wipes out all mammals with Y chromosomes, is allegedly in production. Angela Watercutter, Wired, "These Are the 17 Must-Watch TV Shows of 2021," 6 Jan. 2021 Host Tony Harris investigates recordings and photos allegedly showing giant beasts, UFOs, mutants from the deep and other mysterious phenomenon. Washington Post, "What to watch on Tuesday: ‘Gordon Ramsay’s American Road Trip’ on Fox," 5 Jan. 2021 Upon receiving the Father-Leader’s weighty teaching that the mysterious secret of the chukjibeop lay in unity with the masses, the banquet-goers were deeply touched. Sooyoung Haft, Harpers Magazine, "Grounded in Truth," 5 Jan. 2021 No cause of death was reported, nor was there any explanation as to why this news was being made public two months after the fact, though the mysterious nature of the reveal did feel very Doom-like. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "The Wondrous Rhymes of MF Doom," 5 Jan. 2021 On January 2, the Gossip Girl reboot’s first individual character photos, along with their names and mysterious one-word descriptors, were posted to the show’s official Instagram. Rebecca Alter, Vulture, "Here Are the New Gossip Girl Characters to Respect and Fear," 4 Jan. 2021 This adviser’s tactics and mysterious identity unnerved liberal White House staffers like George Stephanopoulos and Harold Ickes, who found that progressive decisions made by day would shift to the right overnight. Tevi Troy, WSJ, "How Joe Biden Should Handle White House Infighting," 2 Jan. 2021 Arreglo, too, is awed by the mysterious mammals that live mostly unseen below the ocean’s surface, passing behemoths that have endured even though humans almost hunted them to extinction. Nora Mishanec,, "With classic lookouts closed, here are the best Bay Area spots to catch migrating gray whales," 2 Jan. 2021

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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Time Traveler for mysterious

Time Traveler

The first known use of mysterious was in 1578

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Statistics for mysterious

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mysterious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for mysterious


How to pronounce mysterious (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of mysterious

: strange, unknown, or difficult to understand


mys·​te·​ri·​ous | \ mi-ˈstir-ē-əs How to pronounce mysterious (audio) \

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.

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Comments on mysterious

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