[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. mystic,
  2. mystical,
  3. mystical theology,
  4. mystically,
  5. mysticete,
  6. mysticity,
  7. mysticize,
  8. mysticly,
  9. mystification,
  10. mystified

Origin of mysticism

First recorded in 1730–40; mystic + -ism

Related formsan·ti·mys·ti·cism, nounnon·mys·ti·cism, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mysticism

British Dictionary definitions for mysticism


/ (ˈmɪstɪˌsɪzəm) /


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

Word Origin and History for mysticism



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for mysticism


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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.