[mis-tuh-ree, -tree] /ˈmɪs tə ri, -tri/

noun, plural mysteries.
anything that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown:
the mysteries of nature.
any affair, thing, or person that presents features or qualities so obscure as to arouse curiosity or speculation:
The masked guest is an absolute mystery to everyone.
a novel, short story, play, or film whose plot involves a crime or other event that remains puzzlingly unsettled until the very end:
a mystery by Agatha Christie.
obscure, puzzling, or mysterious quality or character:
the mystery of Mona Lisa’s smile.
any truth that is unknowable except by divine revelation.

an incident or scene in connection with the life of Christ, regarded as of special significance:
the mysteries of the Passion.
any of the 15 events in the lives of Christ and the Virgin Mary meditated upon during the recitation of the rosary.

[mis-tuh-ree] /ˈmɪs tə ri/
noun, plural mysteries. Archaic.
a craft or trade.
a guild, as of merchants.
/ˈmɪstərɪ; -trɪ/
noun (pl) -teries
an unexplained or inexplicable event, phenomenon, etc
a person or thing that arouses curiosity or suspense because of an unknown, obscure, or enigmatic quality
the state or quality of being obscure, inexplicable, or enigmatic
a story, film, etc, which arouses suspense and curiosity because of facts concealed
(Christianity) any truth that is divinely revealed but otherwise unknowable
(Christianity) a sacramental rite, such as the Eucharist, or (when plural) the consecrated elements of the Eucharist
(often pl) any of various rites of certain ancient Mediterranean religions
short for mystery play
noun (archaic) (pl) -teries
a trade, occupation, or craft
a guild of craftsmen

early 14c., in a theological sense, “religious truth via divine revelation, hidden spiritual significance, mystical truth,” from Anglo-French *misterie, Old French mistere “secret, mystery, hidden meaning” (Modern French mystère), from Latin mysterium “secret rite, secret worship; a secret thing,” from Greek mysterion (usually in plural mysteria) “secret rite or doctrine,” from mystes “one who has been initiated,” from myein “to close, shut” (see mute (adj.)); perhaps referring to the lips (in secrecy) or to the eyes (only initiates were allowed to see the sacred rites).

The Greek word was used in Septuagint for “secret counsel of God,” translated in Vulgate as sacramentum. Non-theological use in English, “a hidden or secret thing,” is from late 14c. In reference to the ancient rites of Greece, Egypt, etc. it is attested from 1640s. Meaning “detective story” first recorded in English 1908.

“handicraft, trade, art” (archaic), late 14c., from Medieval Latin misterium, alteration of Latin ministerium “service, occupation, office, ministry” (see ministry), influenced in form by Medieval Latin mysterium (see mystery (n.1)) and in sense by maistrie “mastery.” Now only in mystery play, in reference to the medieval performances, which often were staged by members of craft guilds. The two senses of mystery formed a common pun in (secular) Tudor theater.


Hash (1885+)

the calling of the Gentiles into the Christian Church, so designated (Eph. 1:9, 10; 3:8-11; Col. 1:25-27); a truth undiscoverable except by revelation, long hid, now made manifest. The resurrection of the dead (1 Cor. 15:51), and other doctrines which need to be explained but which cannot be fully understood by finite intelligence (Matt. 13:11; Rom. 11:25; 1 Cor. 13:2); the union between Christ and his people symbolized by the marriage union (Eph. 5:31, 32; comp. 6:19); the seven stars and the seven candlesticks (Rev. 1:20); and the woman clothed in scarlet (17:7), are also in this sense mysteries. The anti-Christian power working in his day is called by the apostle (2 Thess. 2:7) the “mystery of iniquity.”


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  • Mystery-play

    noun 1. a medieval dramatic form based on a Biblical story, usually dealing with the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. noun 1. (in the Middle Ages) a type of drama based on the life of Christ Compare miracle play

  • Mystery shopper

    noun a person hired to secretly assess the goods or services of a shop, restaurant, etc.; also called secret shopper Examples The stores have mystery shoppers and restaurants have food critics. Word Origin 1989

  • Mystery tour

    noun 1. an excursion to an unspecified destination

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