[ mis-tuh-siz-uhm ]
See synonyms for mysticism on
  1. the beliefs, ideas, or mode of thought of mystics.

  2. 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.

  1. obscure thought or speculation.

Origin of mysticism

First recorded in 1730–40; mystic + -ism

Other words from mysticism

  • an·ti·mys·ti·cism, noun
  • non·mys·ti·cism, noun

Words Nearby mysticism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use mysticism in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for mysticism


/ (ˈmɪstɪˌsɪzəm) /

  1. belief in or experience of a reality surpassing normal human understanding or experience, esp a reality perceived as essential to the nature of life

  2. a system of contemplative prayer and spirituality aimed at achieving direct intuitive experience of the divine

  1. 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

Cultural 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.