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[mis-tuh-gawg, -gog] /ˈmɪs təˌgɔg, -ˌgɒg/
someone who instructs others before initiation into religious mysteries or before participation in the sacraments.
a person whose teachings are said to be founded on mystical revelations.
Origin of mystagogue
1540-50; < Latin mystagōgus < Greek mystagōgós, equivalent to mýst(ēs) (see mystic) + ágōgos -agogue
Related forms
[mis-tuh-goh-jee, -goj-ee] /ˈmɪs təˌgoʊ dʒi, -ˌgɒdʒ i/ (Show IPA),
[mis-tuh-gaw-guh-ree, -gog-uh-] /ˈmɪs təˌgɔ gə ri, -ˌgɒg ə-/ (Show IPA),
[mis-tuh-goj-ik] /ˌmɪs təˈgɒdʒ ɪk/ (Show IPA),
mystagogical, adjective
mystagogically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mystagogue
Historical Examples
  • Thus, with Piero for mystagogue, we enter an inner shrine of deep religious revelation.

    Renaissance in Italy Vol. 3 John Addington Symonds
  • Henri Bergson is a mystagogue, and all mystagogues are mythomaniacs.

    Unicorns James Huneker
  • But Barrs was too sprightly a spirit to remain a mystagogue.

    Egoists James Huneker
  • But the mystagogue succeeds because he gets himself misunderstood; although, as a rule, he is not even worth misunderstanding.

    All Things Considered G. K. Chesterton
  • He founded a sect, and was called by his esoteric followers 'the mystagogue of sublime and celestial dogmas.'

    Renaissance in Italy, Volume 2 (of 7) John Addington Symonds
  • Logically, he is a detective, but I almost think that in his case the detective is a symbol of the mystagogue.

    Hieroglyphics Arthur Machen
  • Nevertheless he was no anarchist and no mystagogue; and even where he was defective, his defect has commonly been stated wrongly.

  • He had none of the airs of mystagogue, but talked to men, as he did to beasts, in the speech which was habitual to them.

    Rest Harrow Maurice Hewlett
British Dictionary definitions for mystagogue


(in Mediterranean mystery religions) a person who instructs those who are preparing for initiation into the mysteries
Derived Forms
mystagogic (ˌmɪstəˈɡɒdʒɪk), mystagogical, adjective
mystagogically, adverb
mystagogy (ˈmɪstəˌɡɒdʒɪ) noun
Word Origin
C16: via Latin from Greek mustagōgos, from mustēs candidate for initiation + agein to lead. See mystic
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mystagogue

"person who initiates into mysteries," 1550s, from Latin mystagogus "a guide to the mysteries," from Greek mystagogos, from mystes "one initiated into the mysteries" (see mystery (n.1)) + agogos "leading, a leader" (see act (n.)). Related: Mystagogic; mystagogical; mystagogy; mystagoguery.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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