mys·​ti·​fi·​ca·​tion ˌmi-stə-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce mystification (audio)
: an act or instance of mystifying
: 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 wealthHenry Staten
: the quality or state of being mystified
: something designed to mystify

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 The feminine mystique has always been a mystification, and a useful one at that. Jennifer Wilson, The New Yorker, 22 Sep. 2023 There’s a commentarial dimension to this image, about the marketing, in part through mystification, of contemporary health care. Holland Cotter, New York Times, 13 July 2023 Critics often bemoan the unrealistic representation of archaeology and the mystification of historical facts. Petar Parvanov, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 July 2023 The lesson is refreshingly practical: There is no need to appeal to misty mystifications to account for a trend that is easily explained by economic hardship and social isolation. Becca Rothfeld, Washington Post, 27 Apr. 2023 The Texas singer-songwriter’s daughter Lana peeled away some of the layers of mystification not long ago. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, 25 Apr. 2023 Institutions, after all, reliably use mystification to escape accountability and oversight. Charles Homans, New York Times, 14 Mar. 2023 Anything else is deliberate mystification. Damon Linker, The Week, 8 Mar. 2022 The sense of wonder, awe, even mystification, was evident in the crowd’s feverish applause. Steve Volk, Discover Magazine, 21 Jan. 2015 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1816, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of mystification was in 1816

Dictionary Entries Near mystification

Cite this Entry

“Mystification.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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