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

Their idyll is interrupted when a feral and mysterious 14-year-old girl shoots their cattle dead, sending Wyatt Smith into Utah's hyper-violent crime underworld to find her., "How Rae DelBianco Went From Cattle Farmer To Bookstagram Queen To Literary Darling — All By 25," 13 July 2018 If there was a cultural difference between a modern Iranian woman and a European one, it wasn’t exemplified by my mother with her crêpe de Chine style and mysterious — at least to preschooler me — social pursuits. Hedia Anvar, Longreads, "How To Build An Intellectual," 23 June 2018 Elastigirl is offered sponsorship by a mysterious and wealthy pair of siblings who run a telecommunications firm. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "The Incredibles 2 Addresses the State of the Union," 19 June 2018 For more than 40 years, David Doubilet has been chronicling the magnificent and the mysterious for National Geographic as an underwater photographer. National Geographic, "32 Astonishing Photos From a Career Spent Underwater," 13 June 2018 The historic gathering will also be an opportunity to find out more about the mysterious and isolated leader. Jamie Tarabay, CNN, "Who is Kim Jong Un? Separating myth from fact," 5 June 2018 All the while, the algorithms evolve themselves beyond the understanding of the people who created them, and the data gets combined with other data in new and mysterious ways. David Meyer, Fortune, "AI Has a Big Privacy Problem and Europe's New Data Protection Law Is About to Expose It," 25 May 2018 That, in fact, much like the free-spirited and mysterious movement on which they are based, is entirely the point. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "These Knit Bodysuits Are Inspired by the Cosmic Scene of 1980s Northern Italy," 24 May 2018 Those assets definitely look like Fallout 4 assets, so a full-on Fallout set around the mysterious Vault 76 could be one solution. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Bethesda reveals Fallout 76," 30 May 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

25 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for mysterious

The first known use of mysterious was in 1578

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English Language Learners Definition of mysterious

: strange, unknown, or difficult to understand


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

What made you want to look up mysterious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


full of whispering sounds

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