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[mis-tuh-fahy] /ˈmɪs təˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), mystified, mystifying.
to perplex (a person) by playing upon the person's credulity; bewilder purposely.
to involve in mystery or obscurity.
Origin of mystify
1805-15; < French mystifier, equivalent to mysti- (irregular combining form of mystique mystic or mystère mystery1) + -fier -fy
Related forms
mystification, noun
mystifiedly, adverb
mystifier, noun
mystifyingly, adverb
overmystification, noun
overmystify, verb (used with object), overmystified, overmystifying.
unmystified, adjective
1. fool, mislead, elude, puzzle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mystification
Historical Examples
  • Mr Dorrit stood rooted to the carpet, a statue of mystification.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • Daily Chronicle: We have seldom read a better piece of mystification.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill
  • It was clearly a case upon which they would not admit of any mystification or deceit.

    A Day's Ride Charles James Lever
  • "Why, there is no end to this mystification," cried the boy, impatiently.

    The Daltons, Volume II (of II) Charles James Lever
  • The gentleman, as I have told you before, seems devoted to mystification.

    Victory Joseph Conrad
  • I went over the house, and nothing can express my mystification.

  • Constance eyed him with a degree of mystification on her side.

    Jerry Jean Webster
  • Rosita looked at her a moment in mystification and then shrugged her shoulders.

  • It was obvious the expert was enjoying the lad's mystification.

  • To have been the object of such a mystification, he, a professor of dancing and deportment!

    Godfrey Morgan Jules Verne
British Dictionary definitions for mystification


verb (transitive) -fies, -fying, -fied
to confuse, bewilder, or puzzle
to make mysterious or obscure
Derived Forms
mystification, noun
mystifier, noun
mystifying, adjective
mystifyingly, adverb
Word Origin
C19: from French mystifier, from mystèremystery1 or mystiquemystic
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 mystification

1815, from French mystification, noun of action from mystifier (see mystify).



1814, from French mystifier (1772), a verb formed irregularly from mystique "a mystic" (see mystic (adj.)) + -fier (see -fy). Related: Mystified; mystifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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