mys·​te·​ri·​ous | \ mis-ˈtir-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

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 story follows a mysterious blonde woman (Julianne Hough) who flees her house in Boston (holding a bloody knife — so obvs something crazy went down), buys a one way ticket to North Carolina, and settles down in the small town of Southport. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "A Definitive Ranking of the 8 Best Nicholas Sparks Movies," 20 Nov. 2018 The same components are sought by a crook (Walter Goggins), and there’s also a mysterious figure called Ghost (Hannah Kamen-Jones), who materializes out of thin air, usually in a bad mood, to gum up the works. Gary Thompson,, "'Ant-Man and The Wasp': Lacks sting of original," 4 July 2018 The Chalk Garden Revival of Enid Bagnold’s comedy about a British dowager who hires a mysterious woman as a gardener and governess. Matt Cooper,, "The week ahead in SoCal theater: 'The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui' and more," 22 June 2018 Most spectacular is the city’s newest arrival: a mysterious woman who shows up riding an orca and accompanied by a huge polar bear — and who seems to have some spectacular fighting skills of her own. Gary K. Wolfe,, "With 'Blackfish City,' Sam J. Miller makes impressive sci-fi debut, plus more reviews," 24 Apr. 2018 The Commuter: An ex-cop riding a commuter train to his job selling insurance in New York City is drawn into a life-and-death conspiracy by a mysterious woman. Chris Ball,, "Steven Spielberg's 'The Post,' now on DVD and Blu-ray (review)," 22 Apr. 2018 Last week, some Harvard University scientists sparked widespread media attention about a possible alien origination for the mysterious interstellar object known as 'Oumuamua. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "A powerful NASA telescope looked for ‘Oumuamua and didn’t find it," 14 Nov. 2018 Well, here are a couple of Harvard researchers who are not ruling it out: Scientists have been puzzling over Oumuamua ever since the mysterious space object was observed tumbling past the sun in late 2017. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Four ways the internet changed the midterm elections," 7 Nov. 2018 Oumuamua is a very mysterious, fascinating object There could be a very simple explanation for Oumuamua’s acceleration. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Oumuamua is the only interstellar object we’ve ever seen in our solar system. What is it?," 6 Nov. 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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Statistics for mysterious

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mysterious

The first known use of mysterious was in 1578

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More Definitions for mysterious



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.
mysteriousness noun

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Comments on mysterious

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