mystify

[mis-tuh-fahy]
See more synonyms for mystify on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), mys·ti·fied, mys·ti·fy·ing.
  1. to perplex (a person) by playing upon the person's credulity; bewilder purposely.
  2. 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 formsmys·ti·fi·ca·tion, nounmys·ti·fied·ly, adverbmys·ti·fi·er, nounmys·ti·fy·ing·ly, adverbo·ver·mys·ti·fi·ca·tion, nouno·ver·mys·ti·fy, verb (used with object), o·ver·mys·ti·fied, o·ver·mys·ti·fy·ing.un·mys·ti·fied, adjective

Synonyms for mystify

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for mystification

Historical Examples of mystification

  • Mr Dorrit stood rooted to the carpet, a statue of mystification.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • Daily Chronicle: We have seldom read a better piece of mystification.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill

  • It was clearly a case upon which they would not admit of any mystification or deceit.

    A Day's Ride

    Charles James Lever

  • "Why, there is no end to this mystification," cried the boy, impatiently.

  • The gentleman, as I have told you before, seems devoted to mystification.

    Victory

    Joseph Conrad


British Dictionary definitions for mystification

mystify

verb -fies, -fying or -fied (tr)
  1. to confuse, bewilder, or puzzle
  2. to make mysterious or obscure
Derived Formsmystification, nounmystifier, nounmystifying, adjectivemystifyingly, adverb

Word Origin for mystify

C19: from French mystifier, from mystère mystery 1 or mystique mystic
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 mystification
n.

1815, from French mystification, noun of action from mystifier (see mystify).

mystify

v.

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