mysterious

adjective
1 mysterious events, behaviour, or situations are difficult to explain or understand: His father died of a mysterious disease. | a mysterious smile | in mysterious circumstances: Benson later disappeared in mysterious circumstances.
2 a mysterious person is someone who you know very little about and who seems strange or interesting: Who was this mysterious stranger?
3 saying very little about what you are doing; secretive
(+ about): Helen's being very mysterious about her plans. — mysteriously adverb — mysteriousness noun (U) mystery /'mIstri/ noun
1 (C) something that is impossible to understand or explain or about which little is known: remain a mystery: Twenty years after the event, his death remains a mystery. | solve/unravel a mystery (=find an explanation for it): They never solved the mystery of Gray's disappearance. | a mystery phone call/lover/package etc (=one that you know very little about, which therefore seems strange and interesting): If I tell you the mystery ingredient, my recipe won't be a secret. | be a mystery to (=used to say that you do not know or understand much about something): Jean's business affairs were always a mystery to him.
2 It's a mystery to me spoken used to say that you cannot understand something at all: It's a mystery to me how she manages to work so fast.
3 (U) a quality that makes someone or something seem strange, secret, or difficult to explain: an air of mystery: There was an air of mystery about him. | be shrouded/veiled in mystery: The circumstances of his death were veiled in mystery.
4 (C) formal a quality that something has that cannot be explained in any practical or scientific way, especially because it is connected with God and religion
(+ of): the mystery of creation
5 (C): a murder mystery

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • mysterious — mysterious, inscrutable, arcane mean beyond one s power to discover, understand, or explain. Something mysterious excites wonder, curiosity, or surmise yet baffles all attempts to explain it {extremes in Nature equal ends produce, in Man they… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • mysterious — [mis tir′ē əs] adj. [< L mysterium (see MYSTERY1) + OUS] of, containing, implying, or characterized by mystery mysteriously adv. mysteriousness n. SYN. MYSTERIOUS is applied to that which excites curiosity, wonder, etc. but is impossible or… …   English World dictionary

  • Mysterious — Mys*te ri*ous, a. [F. myst[ e]rieux. See 1st {Mystery}.] Of or pertaining to mystery; containing a mystery; difficult or impossible to understand; inexplicable; obscure; not revealed or explained; enigmatical; incomprehensible. [1913 Webster] God …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mysterious — I adjective abstruse, arcane, arcanus, baffling, cabalistic, clandestine, cloaked, coded, concealed, covert, cryptic, dark, disguised, enigmatic, enigmatical, esoteric, furtive, hidden, impenetrable, incomprehensible, ineffable, inexplicable,… …   Law dictionary

  • mysterious — (adj.) 1610s, full of mystery, from L. mysterium (see MYSTERY (Cf. mystery) (1)) + OUS (Cf. ous). Related: Mysteriously; mysteriousness. Earlier in same sense was mysterial (early 15c.), from L.L. mysterialis …   Etymology dictionary

  • mysterious — [adj] secret, concealed abstruse, alchemistic, arcane, astrological, baffling, cabalistic, covert, cryptic, curious, dark, difficult, enigmatic, enigmatical, equivocal, esoteric, furtive, hidden, impenetrable, incomprehensible, inexplicable,… …   New thesaurus

  • mysterious — ► ADJECTIVE 1) difficult or impossible to understand, explain, or identify. 2) deliberately enigmatic. DERIVATIVES mysteriously adverb mysteriousness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • mysterious — mys|te|ri|ous [mıˈstıəriəs US ˈstır ] adj 1.) mysterious events or situations are difficult to explain or understand ▪ The police are investigating the mysterious deaths of children at the hospital. ▪ Benson later disappeared in mysterious… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • mysterious — mys|te|ri|ous [ mı stıriəs ] adjective ** 1. ) not explained or understood: They are investigating the mysterious disappearance of a young man. mysterious circumstances: He died in mysterious circumstances. a ) not recognized or known: a… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • mysterious — [[t]mɪstɪ͟əriəs[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED Someone or something that is mysterious is strange and is not known about or understood. He died in mysterious circumstances... A mysterious illness confined him to bed for over a month... The whole thing seems… …   English dictionary


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