mystery play


Definition of mystery play

: a medieval drama based on scriptural incidents (such as the creation of the world, the Flood, or the life, death, and resurrection of Christ) — compare miracle play

Examples of mystery play in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web David Ellenstein and Marc Silver’s 2005 one-man mystery play is about an actor who makes his living playing Albert Einstein and how the famed physicist’s theories figure into the very real drama in the actor’s personal life. San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Apr. 2021 Likewise my fascination with medieval mystery plays, which dramatized the Old and New Testaments, the production of each biblical tale sponsored by a different guild: the guys who made nails, say, taking charge of staging Jesus’s crucifixion. New York Times, 2 July 2019 In Germany, mystery plays were performed on Christmas Eve, traditionally celebrated in the church calendar as the feast day of Adam and Eve. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, 13 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mystery play.' 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 mystery play

1808, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mystery play

for earlier mystery entry 1 in sense "mystery play"

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Learn More About mystery play

Time Traveler for mystery play

Time Traveler

The first known use of mystery play was in 1808

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Statistics for mystery play

Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mystery play.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for mystery play

mystery play


English Language Learners Definition of mystery play

: a religious play in the Middle Ages based on a story from the Bible (such as the creation of the world or the birth of Jesus Christ)

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