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

The resulting album sounds like a New Age playground of sorts, at once futuristic and grounded in a sort of old-world mysticism, as the esoteric chants on the title track convey. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "The Argentinian Artist Whose Colorful Closet and Music Are Inspired by Postmodern Furniture," 24 Dec. 2018 Higher Frequencies Music, chemicals, and mysticism were some of the means by which people tried to access the love and connectedness at the core of the hippie ethos. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "1968 vs. 2018: 50 Years Later Fashion Is Still Playing With the Bohemian Rhapsody of the Late, Tumultuous ’60s," 14 Dec. 2018 In contrast, designers like Grace Wales Bonner (who coincidentally referenced hippie-era mysticism in her Spring 2019 collection) are finding success with authentic voices and messages that speak to their peers. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "1968 vs. 2018: 50 Years Later Fashion Is Still Playing With the Bohemian Rhapsody of the Late, Tumultuous ’60s," 14 Dec. 2018 Hold the Dark narratively goes to new depths, or heights, in terms of the mysticism and folklore of the culture. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "On Netflix’s complicated Hold the Dark shoot, gratitude was the hardest part," 3 Oct. 2018 The outfit was beloved by Jews and goyim alike — notably Madonna, circa her studying Kabbalah (that is, Jewish mysticism) phase. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox, "How the JAP became America’s most complex Jewish stereotype.," 5 Dec. 2018 Those interested in mysticism and indigenous Mexican religions, from Santa Muerte to Voodoo, will be particularly delighted by the wares. Scarlett Lindeman, Condé Nast Traveler, "13 Best Markets in Mexico City," 5 Mar. 2018 Chaldean numerology is based on ancient Babylonian practices, and Kabbalistic studies of Jewish mysticism explore recurring digits within the Old Testament. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "The Basics of Numerology: How to Calculate Your Life Path and Destiny Numbers," 16 July 2018 There is an ethereal mysticism to the lyrical passages, and a big-hearted warmth. Mark Swed,, "As a conductor, composer and man, Oliver Knussen was larger than life," 10 July 2018

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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Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for mysticism

The first known use of mysticism was in 1724

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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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Spanish Central: Translation of mysticism

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

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to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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