mys·​ti·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ ˌmi-stə-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce mystification (audio) \

Definition of mystification

1a : an act or instance of mystifying
b : an obscuring especially of capitalist or social dynamics (as by making them equivalent to natural laws) that is seen in Marxist thought as an impediment to critical consciousness the mystification of the sources of wealth— Henry Staten
2 : the quality or state of being mystified
3 : something designed to mystify

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Examples of mystification in a Sentence

the new information did little to ease our mystification an event that is one of the great mystifications in all of maritime history
Recent Examples on the Web Throughout, however, the biography is judicious on topics that often inspire hyperbole and mystification. Donald S. Lopez, New York Times, "Who Is the Dalai Lama?," 25 Feb. 2020 Money and mystification, not knowledge or ignorance, are its cardinal points. Longreads, "Communiqué from an Exurban Satellite Clinic of a Cancer Pavilion Named after a Financier," 17 Sep. 2019 But even in those conversations, officials often expressed mystification about how decisions in the Trump administration were made and policy generated. David E. Sanger,, "‘It could have been any of us’: Disdain for Trump runs among ambassadors," 10 July 2019 But even in those conversations, officials often expressed mystification about how decisions in the Trump administration were made and policy was generated. David E. Sanger, New York Times, "‘It Could Have Been Any of Us’: Disdain for Trump Runs Among Ambassadors," 10 July 2019 This is the flip side of Mr. Trump’s own sorry failure to continue the mystifications that power uses to conceal its dilemmas. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Politicians Never Lied Before Trump," 11 Jan. 2019 Barthesian mystifications notwithstanding, translation is a concrete art. Benjamin Moser, New York Times, "Did He Really Say That? On the Perils and Pitfalls of Translation," 28 June 2018 Writing about writing can be a tough trick to pull off without descending into cliches about troubled geniuses or mystification of the creative process itself or even pandering about the nobility of books and the people who read them. Kathleen Rooney,, "Inspired by Maurice Sendak, Julia Glass' latest novel eloquently explores intimacy," 26 June 2017 From Donald Trump to Brexit to Marine Le Pen, one thing that unites the unhappy West is a profound sense of mystification. John Micklethwait, New York Times, "THANK YOU FOR BEING LATE," 22 Nov. 2016

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

1816, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for mystification

borrowed from French, "hoodwinking, trickery," from mystifier "to hoodwink, dupe" + -ification -ification — more at mystify

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Time Traveler for mystification

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The first known use of mystification was in 1816

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Last Updated

12 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mystification.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

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