mys·​ti·​cism | \ ˈmi-stə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce mysticism (audio) \

Definition of mysticism

1 : the experience of mystical union or direct communion with ultimate reality reported by mystics
2 : the belief that direct knowledge of God, spiritual truth, or ultimate reality can be attained through subjective experience (such as intuition or insight)
3a : vague speculation : a belief without sound basis
b : a theory postulating the possibility of direct and intuitive acquisition of ineffable knowledge or power

Examples of mysticism in a Sentence

Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticism. a student of Eastern mysticism
Recent Examples on the Web In Sufism, a form of Islamic mysticism, this music is food for the soul. The Christian Science Monitor, "In Pictures: Young Sufi women defy one tradition to preserve another," 19 Apr. 2021 Rollicking mysticism that effortlessly makes your sides hurt: What’s not to like about that? Mike Kerrigan, WSJ, "God Is in the Punch Line," 19 Apr. 2021 This is the story of an exceptional, Harvard University study of the effect of psilocybin on spirituality and mysticism. Rebecca Coffey, Forbes, "Bicycle Day And the 1962 Harvard Experiment That Showed Psilocybin Can Create Lasting, Positive Spiritual Change," 19 Apr. 2021 In this case, Tea speaks with celebrity guests — early entries include Brittany Howard, Roxane Gay, and Alexander Chee — on matters of spiritual beliefs, mysticism, and so on. Nicholas Quah, Vulture, "Your Magic and 4 More Podcasts Worth Trying," 24 Mar. 2021 When Cerrón, who offers tarot card readings and cleansing services, opened her shop in 1984, the mysticism of her business seemed startling for some. Thuc Nhi Nguyen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: Pico Boulevard during the pandemic," 17 Mar. 2021 After the round, DeChambeau alternated between shrugs and scientific mysticism. Star Tribune, "So-called favorites stray early at the Masters," 8 Apr. 2021 Like modern classics and recent hits 1Q84 and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, these stories blur the boundaries between the real world and mysticism. Rachel King, Fortune, "10 new books to read in April," 1 Apr. 2021 Tarkovsky had a reactionary streak, and in the era of Vladimir Putin his drift toward nationalist mysticism can take on an ominous tinge. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "The Drenching Richness of Andrei Tarkovsky," 8 Feb. 2021

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

1724, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for mysticism

mystic entry 1 + -ism

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The first known use of mysticism was in 1724

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Last Updated

25 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mysticism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of mysticism

: a religious practice based on the belief that knowledge of spiritual truth can be gained by praying or thinking deeply

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Nglish: Translation of mysticism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mysticism for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about mysticism

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