[mis-tuh-siz-uh m]
See more 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.
  3. obscure thought or speculation.

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

Contemporary Examples of mysticism

Historical Examples of mysticism

  • Mysticism of this sort is the very height of spiritual power.

  • It was from this moment that I was taken with an ardent love for mysticism.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • The mysticism of the New England Calvinists sometimes bred fanaticism.

  • It does not allude to the original from which it is taken; it is quite free from mysticism and Neo-Platonism.



  • In his youth, however, the mysticism was very nave and straightforward.

British Dictionary definitions for mysticism


  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
  3. 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

mysticism in Culture


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.