mys·ti·cism | \ˈmis-tə-ˌsi-zəm \

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

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 The police operation marked the beginning of the end for York, a pseudo-religious leader who eluded justice for decades while amassing a nationwide following for his bizarre blend of religion, mysticism and claims about alien life. Christine Pelisek,, "The Story Behind a Black Supremacist Cult That Lived in Egyptian-Themed Compound in Rural Georgia," 6 July 2018 The California producer and live performer can serve exotic mysticism or stomping big-room booms. Kat Bein, Billboard, "KSHMR Brings Big Pop Brightness on 'Carry Me Home' With Jake Reese: Exclusive," 14 June 2018 As far as Lopez can remember, her life revolved around York, an ex-con who in the 60’s founded his own Muslim sect that preached black supremacist ideas and Islamic mysticism. Christine Pelisek,, "I Brought Down a Cult: Ex-Member Helped Catch the Child Molester Running an Egyptian-Themed Sect," 4 July 2018 The band, which has toured with bands like Underoath and Norma Jean, has written songs about Sufi mysticism, historical accidents, love and eternity. John Adamian,, "Seven Concerts You Might Want To See (And Why)," 9 June 2018 The series is earnest, simple and utterly winning, an emotional and stylish teen drama that mixes in mysticism and metaphor. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Review: 'Marvel's Cloak and Dagger' is exactly what a superhero TV show should be," 6 June 2018 In in an attempt to find a remedy for love troubles, the duo offers to light up a candle for the saints in a quasi-psychedelic video that evokes mysticism and folklore. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Viva Friday: All the Best New Latin Songs and Albums You Should Add to Your Playlist," 18 May 2018 Byrne’s brand of mysticism and romance is familiar, but all the sweeter for being so. Noah Berlatsky, Chicago Reader, "Julie Byrne soars into the new age folk tradition," 22 Mar. 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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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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evasion of direct action or statement

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