Definition of mystery noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈmɪstri//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈmɪstri//
    (pl. mysteries) Types of film, Types of story
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  1. 1  [countable] something that is difficult to understand or to explain It is one of the great unsolved mysteries of this century. Their motives remain a mystery. It's a complete mystery to me why they chose him.
  2. 2  [countable] (often used as an adjective) a person or thing that is strange and interesting because you do not know much about them or it He's a bit of a mystery. There was a mystery guest on the programme. The band was financed by a mystery backer. (British English) a mystery tour (= when you do not know where you are going)
  3. 3  [uncountable] the quality of being difficult to understand or to explain, especially when this makes somebody/something seem interesting and exciting Mystery surrounds her disappearance. His past is shrouded in mystery (= not much is known about it). The dark glasses give her an air of mystery. She’s a woman of mystery.
  4. 4  [countable] a story, a film/movie or a play in which crimes and strange events are only explained at the end I enjoy murder mysteries. See related entries: Types of film, Types of story
  5. 5mysteries [plural] secret religious ceremonies; secret knowledge (figurative) the teacher who initiated me into the mysteries of mathematics
  6. 6[countable] a religious belief that cannot be explained or proved in a scientific way the mystery of creation
  7. Word OriginMiddle English (in the sense ‘mystic presence, hidden religious symbolism’): from Old French mistere or Latin mysterium, from Greek mustērion; related to mystic.Extra examples He had found the clue to unlock the whole mystery He is the author of several murder mysteries. Her blue eyes had a certain mystery. Her poetry attempts to penetrate the dark mystery of death. How the disease started is one of medicine’s great mysteries. How these insects actually communicate presents something of a mystery. It remains a mystery as to where he was buried. It was easy to believe that the house held some great mystery. Modern weather forecasts try to take the mystery out of meteorology. My sister is a complete mystery to me. Mystery remains over who will star in the film. She pondered the mystery of the disappearing thief. She was a total mystery to him despite their long association. The mystery deepened when the police’s only suspect was found murdered. The police are close to solving the mystery of the missing murder weapon. The silence has deepened the mystery surrounding his work. The whole incident was shrouded in mystery. The witness could shed no light on the mystery of the deceased’s identity. Their suspect was a mystery man: a quiet, happily married man with no enemies. There’s a bit of a mystery about this child. Wearing dark glasses gives him an air of mystery. a place of deep mystery and enchantment one of life’s little mysteries the central mystery of the story the mystery surrounding her resignation He’s a bit of a mystery. It’s a complete mystery to me why they chose him. Next on the programme, Dan Green takes us on a magical mystery tour of Cumbria’s music scene. a mystery caller a mystery disease/​illness/​virus a mystery man/​woman
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: mystery