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90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for mystify
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "We don't care to mystify you, Leopold," laughed Mr. Hamilton.

    The Coming Wave Oliver Optic
  • Colonel Ellwell contrived to mystify the people a little as follows.

  • The pair loved to mystify, to play pranks on their contemporaries.

    Egoists James Huneker
  • "It came from Ball & Black's," said our hero, willing to mystify him.

    Fame and Fortune Horatio Alger, Jr.
  • The brilliantly lighted living room combined with the absence of the caretaker, seemed to mystify the newcomer.

    The Clock Strikes Thirteen Mildred A. Wirt
  • “Precisely the length of her ability to mystify me,” he replied.

  • They needed no interpreters of letters to the public, cunningly devised to mystify what they pretended to elucidate.

    Robert Toombs Pleasant A. Stovall
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
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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
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