[ mis-tuh-ree, -tree ]SEE DEFINITION OF mystery
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


"Marvellous, indeed, is the mystery of our being," exclaimed Anaxagoras.

From that day the fate of Leichardt and his companions has been involved in mystery.

The difference too is radical; it goes to the heart of the mystery.

It is the old land of mystery and wonder which the Greeks called Mesopotamia.

Will Nature teach them the mystery of a plate of turtle-soup?

Like a sentinel on that solitary plain it overwhelms me with a sense of mystery.

What is mystery for one age is not of necessity mystery for another.

But the mystery was to remain unsolved, since Gilder now entered the office.

She felt that this mystery held in it something sinister to herself.

He breakfasted at Mrs. McKee's, and was initiated into the mystery of the ticket punch.


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.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.