Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for mystify
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Two blocks of moving waggons will mystify them, not attract them.

    On the Heels of De Wet

    The Intelligence Officer
  • Colonel Ellwell contrived to mystify the people a little as follows.

  • "We don't care to mystify you, Leopold," laughed Mr. Hamilton.

    The Coming Wave Oliver Optic
  • “A very learned person,” said Rhoda, to whom it was delight to mystify Molly.

    The Maidens' Lodge Emily Sarah Holt
  • "It came from Ball & Black's," said our hero, willing to mystify him.

    Fame and Fortune Horatio Alger, Jr.
  • “Precisely the length of her ability to mystify me,” he replied.

  • "The more we mystify them, the more they will fear us," said the doctor.

    Pharaoh's Broker Ellsworth Douglass
British Dictionary definitions for mystify


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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for 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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for mystify

Word Value for mystify

Scrabble Words With Friends