mys·​ti·​cism ˈmi-stə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce mysticism (audio)
: the experience of mystical union or direct communion with ultimate reality reported by mystics
: the belief that direct knowledge of God, spiritual truth, or ultimate reality can be attained through subjective experience (such as intuition or insight)
: vague speculation : a belief without sound basis
: 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 These degrees bring out mysticism and intuition in the water sign. Lisa Stardust, Peoplemag, 10 May 2024 Expect it all to be delivered with hints of mysticism, as Meow Wolf artists will dabble in themes of ritual and religion. Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2024 Klimt’s mysticism is a kind of busy stagecraft, all confetti cannons and angels dangling from ropes. Jackson Arn, The New Yorker, 18 Mar. 2024 Bodies are too small to encompass more than a sole inhabitant, except in rare cases of mysticism or possession (or the more familiar but no less astounding case of pregnancy). Elizabeth Barber, Harper's Magazine, 8 Feb. 2024 David often invokes the ecstatic mysticism of religious devotion as a metaphor for the candidate’s hold on his supporters. Danielle Amir Jackson, The Atlantic, 26 Mar. 2024 In a narrative woven with the threads of mysticism and peril, Aang's band must outmaneuver not only the mystical forces at play but also withstand Fire Lord Ozai's tyranny, with Zuko loyally by his side. Travis Bean, Forbes, 19 Feb. 2024 But West, listed as a director of Rising Light Group, dismisses any suggestion that religion or mysticism has seeped into the scientific research on the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis. Zach St. George, New York Times, 5 Mar. 2024 As Harrison’s wife, Boyd was there when the Beatles went through the frenzy of Beatlemania, the journeys of psychedelia and mysticism and the crumbling of their partnership. Jack Guy, CNN, 27 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mysticism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


mystic entry 1 + -ism

First Known Use

1724, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of mysticism was in 1724

Dictionary Entries Near mysticism

Cite this Entry

“Mysticism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


mys·​ti·​cism ˈmis-tə-ˌsiz-əm How to pronounce mysticism (audio)
: the experience of mystical union or direct communication with God
: the belief that direct knowledge of God or of spiritual truth can be achieved through deep meditation

More from Merriam-Webster on mysticism

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