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mystify

[mis-tuh-fahy]
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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.
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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

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1. fool, mislead, elude, puzzle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mystify

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Two blocks of moving waggons will mystify them, not attract them.

    On the Heels of De Wet

    The Intelligence Officer

  • Colonel Ellwell contrived to mystify the people a little as follows.

  • "We don't care to mystify you, Leopold," laughed Mr. Hamilton.

    The Coming Wave

    Oliver Optic

  • “A very learned person,” said Rhoda, to whom it was delight to mystify Molly.

    The Maidens' Lodge

    Emily Sarah Holt

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

    Fame and Fortune

    Horatio Alger, Jr.


British Dictionary definitions for mystify

mystify

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

Word Origin

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 mystify

v.

1814, from French mystifier (1772), a verb formed irregularly from mystique "a mystic" (see mystic (adj.)) + -fier (see -fy). Related: Mystified; mystifying.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper