Definition of mystify in English:

mystify

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Utterly bewilder or perplex (someone)

    ‘I was completely mystified by his disappearance’
    ‘a mystifying phenomenon’
    • ‘How the switch from behind-the-scenes weatherman to on-screen presenter occurred still mystifies John, who lives with his family on the outskirts of London.’
    • ‘I am personally mystified by an individual who owns a firearm that doesn't work.’
    • ‘‘I'm utterly mystified,’ said one bemused spokesman earlier today.’
    • ‘On top of that I am also managing a small team whose purpose completely mystifies me.’
    • ‘If anything, women are completely mystified by the effect their presence has on men - and get mighty upset if that reaction is missing!’
    • ‘The Crop Circle phenomenon continues to mystify scientists and the public alike.’
    • ‘What mystifies me is who do people like this think they are talking to?’
    • ‘It mystifies me because I can't understand what is so funny.’
    • ‘However, one thing that does mystify me is that a club could sack their manager and make no public statement on the matter.’
    • ‘As he proceeds, the city's forms and angles confuse and mystify him.’
    • ‘Morgan manages to mystify people without even trying.’
    • ‘Why you would want to do either, however, mystifies me.’
    • ‘I can't figure out why he's popular in New York City, but then New Yorkers still mystify me.’
    • ‘The things that prompt responses from readers constantly mystify me.’
    • ‘What mystifies a modern historian is how a corrupt man could suddenly become honest and also become a crusader against corruption.’
    • ‘The next time you meet some person who is utterly captivated by some undertaking that completely mystifies you, give him the benefit of the doubt.’
    • ‘Mrs Sharp said she was mystified why people stayed away from the gala concert at the end of the successful festival.’
    • ‘Well, I'm mystified as to how it could have happened.’
    • ‘Neighbours were mystified by the killing, describing her as a ‘living saint’ and a dedicated worker for her local Catholic church, St Dominic's.’
    • ‘Mr Hamilton said he was mystified that police had taken the woman's claims seriously and said it was a great injustice that she could remain anonymous while their faces were splashed all over the front pages.’
    bewilder, puzzle, perplex, baffle, confuse, confound, bemuse, obfuscate, nonplus, throw, get
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Make obscure or mysterious.
      ‘lawyers who mystify the legal system so that laymen find it unintelligible’
      • ‘That type of theory, rooted in the tradition of 19th century German Idealism, mystifies freedom by seeing it as an esoteric result of ideas or ideals alone.’
      • ‘I know that they want to mystify the legal process by using complex terms.’
      • ‘The gothic also mystifies the social system in other ways, most notably through a type of transference.’
      • ‘Formal studies are often unrealistic because the informal level is crucial to politics, while official language and procedures legitimate or mystify hidden biases.’
      • ‘The elaborate metaphors and dense prose could be said to mystify or obscure the material conditions being described, shifting attention from the state of human injury to the ornateness of the language in which it is rendered.’

Origin

Early 19th century: from French mystifier, formed irregularly from mystique ‘mystic’ or from mystère ‘mystery’.

Pronunciation

mystify

/ˈmɪstɪfʌɪ/