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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 mystified
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • With a mystified look she returned to the center of the room.

    The Film of Fear Arnold Fredericks
  • Kendal was mystified, for he saw that it was Iris' delicate chirography.

    Pretty Madcap Dorothy Laura Jean Libbey
  • He told his story in agitated accents, and went to bed a mystified man.

    Melomaniacs James Huneker
  • Thorpe gave her the mystified yet uncomplaining glance she knew so well in his eyes.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • "There ain't any ablution in the house," said the mystified Hannah.

    Paul Prescott's Charge Horatio Alger
British Dictionary definitions for mystified


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 mystified

"bewildered, puzzled," 1863, past participle adjective from 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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