Date: 1300-1400
Language: Latin
Origin: mysterium, from Greek, from mystos 'keeping silent', from myein (of the eyes or lips) 'to be closed'


1 noun
mys‧te‧ry1 W3 plural mysteries
1 [countable usually singular] an event, situation etc that people do not understand or cannot explain because they do not know enough about itCOLLOCATIONS COLLOCATIONS
remain a mystery be a mystery (to somebody) it's a mystery solve/unravel a mystery (=find an explanation for it) the mystery deepens (=it becomes more difficult to understand) a complete mystery an unsolved mystery be one of life's (little) mysteries (=be something that you will never understand - used humorously)
Twenty years after the event, his death remains a mystery.
The way her mind worked was always a mystery to him.
'Why did he do it?' 'I don't know. It's a complete mystery.'
The police never solved the mystery of Gray's disappearance.
But why would anyone want to kill Jack? The mystery deepened.
What happened to the paintings after that is an unsolved mystery.
I don't know how he got the job - it's one of life's little mysteries.
How life began on Earth is one of the great mysteries of science.
2 [uncountable] the quality that something or someone has when they seem strange, secret, or difficult to understand or explain
Her dark glasses gave her an air of mystery.
Annie knew that there was some mystery surrounding her birth.
be shrouded/veiled in mystery
The circumstances of his death were veiled in mystery.
3 [countable usually plural] a subject, activity etc that is very complicated, secret, or difficult to understand, and that people want to learn about
the mysteries of something
his introduction to the mysteries of the perfume business
4 [countable] also murder mystery a story, film, or play about a murder, in which you are not told who the murderer is until the end:
an Agatha Christie mystery
a book about imaginary events: novel, thriller, mystery, horror story, love story, detective story, whodunit

books about imaginary events in general: fiction, science fiction, romantic fiction, crime fiction, chick lit informal

famous or important novels, poems etc : literature

books about real events: non-fiction

a book that gives information: reference book, encyclopedia, textbook

a book about someone's life: biography, autobiography, journal, diary

someone who writes books: writer, author, novelist

a book with a hard cover: hardback /hardcover American English

a book with a cover made of paper or card: paperback

See also

Dictionary results for "mystery"
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