Definition of mystical in US English:

mystical

adjective

  • 1Relating to mystics or religious mysticism.

    ‘the mystical experience’
    • ‘And yet this seems very similar to perhaps mystical experiences or experiences of the mystics who wanted to lose themselves in the oneness of God, to become one with God.’
    • ‘It's important for us to be critical in judging the mystical products of our religious traditions.’
    • ‘Theology is the mystical contemplation of God by the creatively receptive consciousness of the mind and heart.’
    • ‘Patients with temporal lobe seizures sometimes have intense mystical and religious experiences.’
    • ‘Over the ages, the weeping of tears has been a sign of the mystical experiences of saints and repentant sinners.’
    • ‘Many of my most profound mystical experiences were in drug-induced shamanic states.’
    • ‘Have you had a mystical or religious experience yet?’
    • ‘Varieties of religious experience often appear under other labels such as mystical, ecstatic, numinous, anomalous, and paranormal.’
    • ‘This recognition accounts for the current interest, in Western countries, in mystical experiences and Eastern religions.’
    • ‘At the time, Micheal and I differed on certain fundamentals behind our work, especially in the area of religious and mystical experiences.’
    • ‘‘You are God’ is the big mystical secret of all religious traditions.’
    • ‘He described an interesting sociological research project, to create standards for what mystical religious experiences are.’
    • ‘The temptation is to read it as a sort of mystical or religious experience.’
    • ‘In different ways, they've become disillusioned in respect of romantic love, have the rewards and consolations of religious and mystical experience and feel compelled to act responsibly.’
    • ‘In his early years, he studied with deeply mystical teachers of several religions, including Buddhists, Muslims and Christians.’
    • ‘Besides catalyzing their mystical and religious inclinations, he also provides assistance of a more practical sort.’
    • ‘A common belief among ancient cultures was that the laws of numbers have not only a practical meaning, but also a mystical or religious one.’
    • ‘He is a lost cause, as his dislike of religious / mystical tendencies is well known.’
    • ‘At the core of all religious traditions is a mystical experience, an experience of unity, of oneness, with the divine.’
    • ‘This dogma can only be demolished by drawing clear distinctions between scientific evidence and the evidence of religious and/or mystical experience.’
    supernatural, paranormal, other-worldly, supernormal, preternatural, metaphysical, extrasensory, transcendental, magic, magical, mystic, occult
    spiritual, religious, transcendental, transcendent, paranormal, other-worldly, supernatural, preternatural, non-rational, occult, metaphysical, ineffable
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    1. 1.1 Spiritually allegorical or symbolic; transcending human understanding.
      ‘the mystical body of Christ’
      • ‘There's also the mystical, spiritual side of Ayurveda, which sees all intelligence and wisdom as flowing from one source.’
      • ‘And that was considered to be something mystical and spiritual.’
      • ‘The particular quality of beauty has long been imagined and revered as the mystical bridge with which humans can traverse the worlds and access the divine.’
      • ‘Beyond this there also lies a mystical or spiritual meaning.’
      • ‘While wordless understanding seems a bit mystical and precious, it may not be as strange as it seems.’
      • ‘It is also fitting that she chose such an allegorical, almost mystical way to present such a brutal act.’
      • ‘However, this enthusiasm for the mystical potential of human technology is misplaced, illogical, and spiritually dangerous.’
      • ‘Here's the real story: The notion of human rights is mystical.’
      • ‘It does so by exploring the extent to which there were shared worlds of formal scholarship and of mystical understanding.’
      • ‘Taoism is a Chinese philosophical tradition that emphasizes the spiritual and mystical connection between human beings and nature.’
      • ‘Such a view of the world was inclined toward mystical and allegorical meaning of reality and truth.’
      • ‘Before we enter the mystical realm of organizational symbolism, first let me define the terminology.’
      symbolic, metaphorical, figurative, representative, emblematic, imagistic, parabolic, symbolizing
      symbolic, symbolical, allegorical, representational, metaphorical, emblematic, emblematical, non-literal
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    2. 1.2 Relating to ancient religious mysteries or other occult or esoteric rites.
      ‘the mystical practices of the Pythagoreans’
      • ‘Together they unravel and expose the island's medicine woman who delves into the dark secrets of obeah, an ancient mystical practice similar to voodoo.’
      • ‘Consequently he is often referred to as the original author of the texts, a legendary collection of magical works, said to contain all the mystical knowledge of the ancient world.’
      • ‘To those on a quest for spiritual evolution or transformation, they promise entry into an esoteric world of ancient mystical wisdom.’
      • ‘Yeats drew from mystical or occult traditions.’
      • ‘As belief in magick grew great and strong, its followers became more secretive and strict about the lore and beliefs of these mystical ways.’
      • ‘For centuries, the meaning of the mysterious and mystical Egyptian hieroglyphs baffled the greatest minds in the world.’
      • ‘Whenever a far-away or long-dead culture can be invoked, a mystery or an entire mystical philosophy can be generated.’
      • ‘For many mystery cults, salvation was to come from a person's association, through a mystical rite, with a hero who had conquered death.’
      • ‘These medical philosophers argued that bodily ills were caused by occult and mystical influences.’
      • ‘Many scholars have, in fact, described New Age ideas as a revival of esoteric and mystical religion traditions rooted in humanity's ancient past.’
      • ‘It's not something you need to be initiated into with mystical rites.’
      • ‘If hypnosis is not an altered state or gateway to a mystical and occult unconscious mind, then what is it?’
      • ‘Finally, a naturalistic worldview is one that has no supernatural or mystical element to it.’
      • ‘This emphasis links Buddhism with the mystical traditions of ancient India, such as yoga.’
      • ‘Alan Nowell says the interwoven patterns depict monks performing ancient mystical dances.’
      • ‘It has been certified by nanas of umpteen ancient cultures to contain mystical curative properties.’
      • ‘His interests were wide and many but by the turn of the century his main interests were esoteric, mystical, and occult.’
      • ‘These are people who have a naturalistic worldview, free of supernatural and mystical elements.’
      • ‘Consider the secrecy of this mystical religion.’
      • ‘Thus far she has used Catholic iconography and explored Buddhism, and is now studying Kabbala, an ancient Jewish mystical tradition.’
      puzzling, strange, peculiar, curious, funny, queer, odd, weird, bizarre, mystifying, inexplicable, baffling, perplexing, bewildering, confusing, uncanny, dark, impenetrable, incomprehensible, unexplainable, unfathomable, delphic, sibylline, unaccountable, insoluble, obscure
      spiritual, religious, transcendental, transcendent, paranormal, other-worldly, supernatural, preternatural, non-rational, occult, metaphysical, ineffable
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    3. 1.3 Of hidden or esoteric meaning.
      ‘a geometric figure of mystical significance’
      • ‘Miller is also the local undertaker and seems to have both an intuitive and mystical sense of how critically important his work is.’
      • ‘She demonstrates her ability to transform common pop into unusual, mystical notes.’
      • ‘That the space program remains so important to the hearts and minds of Americans seems explicable only through the mystical nature of space exploration.’
      • ‘Through painting he sought to uncover mystical inner forces that animate nature.’
      • ‘Inbreeding doesn't cause disease - it's not a mystical force that weakens the strength of the dog.’
      • ‘Some days I think anything is possible and the world is this mystical wonderful place and we all have a magical part in making life the way it is.’
      • ‘Summer, at that age, has a mystical quality, where time appears to have no end.’
      • ‘Look, I appreciate that, in some deep mystical sociological sense, it was all our fault.’
      • ‘Joyce himself believed the progress of his writing was, in some mystical sense, bound up with his daughter's illness.’
      • ‘Dating back 100 million years, the diamond is rare, tenacious and mystical as no two are ever alike.’
      • ‘It was an esoteric, kind of mystical thing that went on.’
      • ‘The UN's authority is instead one of those ineffable mystical mysteries.’
      cryptic, concealed, hidden, abstruse, arcane, esoteric, recondite, inscrutable, inexplicable, unfathomable, mysterious, secret, enigmatic, occult, cabbalistic, obscure, unrevealed
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  • 2Inspiring a sense of spiritual mystery, awe, and fascination.

    ‘the mystical forces of nature’
    • ‘It's my way of tapping into the eternal mystery of life, that mystical force that rolls on despite the petty attempts of humans to change it.’
    • ‘Music really is a mystical force, a deep psychological wisdom that has the power to heal what is happening to human beings on this planet.’
    • ‘Witnessing the mystical wonders of the tallest peak of the world through the windows of our 1900C Beechcraft is a different experience altogether.’
    • ‘She thought of the universe as being full of mystical forces including gravitation and magnetism.’
    • ‘We are left to our own resources to either wait in hope for someone to knock on our doorstep or to take fate in our own hands and go in search of that wonderful mystical phenomenon called love.’
    • ‘Regular contact with the beneficent mystical forces will surround you with a protective aura.’
    • ‘The woman was dead, a walking, talking pale corpse seemingly brought back to life by the omnipotent mystical forces of necromancy.’
    • ‘Trees as one of the oldest symbols of life have from the ancient period been associated with the mystical forces of nature.’
    • ‘Instead of conveying any specific religious message, the whole piece projects a genuine sense of mystical awe that is irresistible.’
    • ‘For example, they were familiar with certain metals, including gold, which inspired mystical reverence as the perfect element.’
    • ‘Sure, he is a driven man, pushed by the mystical forces that inform the devout.’
    • ‘I wonder if there is some sort of mystical force that compels me to be such a miserable bastard.’
    • ‘With such strange and mystical forces at your command, you will possess all the skills and wisdom you need to defeat the Dark Lord.’
    • ‘This someone or something is usually either God or the mystical forces of nature.’
    • ‘Under that plump moon and the glowering gaze of the Matterhorn, we understood why the Swiss feel an almost mystical sense of oneness with the pile of rock.’
    extraordinary, out of the ordinary, exceptional, unusual, uncommon, rare, singular, signal, peculiar, unprecedented, outstanding, remarkable, phenomenal, abnormal, anomalous, inexplicable, unaccountable
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    1. 2.1 Concerned with the soul or the spirit, rather than with material things.
      ‘the beliefs of a more mystical age’
      • ‘He just wanted to try to explain the body without resorting to some mystical soul.’
      • ‘Like parapsychology, intelligent design is a defense of the soul; it just emphasizes intelligence rather than a mystical consciousness.’
      • ‘One thing this seems to imply is that that soul is not the mystical animating spirit of the person, so much as their conscience.’
      • ‘You may share a special and mystical relationship with a soul mate.’
      • ‘According to the teachings of the world's major religions, this mystical soul, or spirit, somehow lives on after death.’
      • ‘The way to mystical freedom is by way of letting go of conventional concerns and achieving union with the Dao.’

Pronunciation

mystical

/ˈmɪstək(ə)l//ˈmistək(ə)l/