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[mis-tuh-siz-uh m] /ˈmɪs təˌsɪz əm/
the beliefs, ideas, or mode of thought of mystics.
a doctrine of an immediate spiritual intuition of truths believed to transcend ordinary understanding, or of a direct, intimate union of the soul with God through contemplation or ecstasy.
obscure thought or speculation.
Origin of mysticism
First recorded in 1730-40; mystic + -ism
Related forms
antimysticism, noun
nonmysticism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mysticism
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • mysticism of this sort is the very height of spiritual power.

    Understanding the Scriptures Francis McConnell
  • It was from this moment that I was taken with an ardent love for mysticism.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • The mysticism of the New England Calvinists sometimes bred fanaticism.

    The American Mind Bliss Perry
  • It does not allude to the original from which it is taken; it is quite free from mysticism and Neo-Platonism.

    Timaeus Plato
  • In his youth, however, the mysticism was very nave and straightforward.

British Dictionary definitions for mysticism


belief in or experience of a reality surpassing normal human understanding or experience, esp a reality perceived as essential to the nature of life
a system of contemplative prayer and spirituality aimed at achieving direct intuitive experience of the divine
obscure or confused belief or thought
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mysticism

1736, from mystic (adj.) + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mysticism in Culture

mysticism definition

In religion, the attempt by an individual to achieve a personal union with God or with some other divine being or principle. Mystics generally practice daily meditation.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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