9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[mi-steer-ee-uh s] /mɪˈstɪər i əs/
full of, characterized by, or involving mystery:
a mysterious occurrence.
implying or suggesting a mystery:
a mysterious smile.
of obscure nature, meaning, origin, etc.; puzzling; inexplicable:
a mysterious inscription on the ancient tomb.
Origin of mysterious
1610-20; mystery1 + -ous
Related forms
mysteriously, adverb
mysteriousness, noun
quasi-mysterious, adjective
quasi-mysteriously, adverb
unmysterious, adjective
unmysteriously, adverb
unmysteriousness, noun
1. secret, esoteric, occult, cryptic. Mysterious, inscrutable, mystical, obscure refer to that which is not easily comprehended or explained. That which is mysterious, by being unknown or puzzling, excites curiosity, amazement, or awe: a mysterious disease. Inscrutable applies to that which is impenetrable, so enigmatic that one cannot interpret its significance: an inscrutable smile. That which is mystical has a secret significance, such as that attaching to certain rites or signs: mystical symbols. That which is obscure is discovered or comprehended dimly or with difficulty: obscure motives. 3. unfathomable, unintelligible, incomprehensible, enigmatic, impenetrable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mysteriously
  • We share many of the same feelings for a place mysteriously etched into our minds.
  • Then, mysteriously, the library vanished into history.
  • They were issued by automated cameras, usually in places where the posted speed limit mysteriously dropped without warning.
  • Yet even though many health statistics have been improving over the past few decades, a few illnesses are rising mysteriously.
  • The fluid mysteriously hardened my skin, turning it a mahogany color for a few days.
  • Tiny snails can travel through a bird's digestive tract and mysteriously emerge perfectly healthy, a new study says.
  • If the money and profit is there, the food will mysteriously appear as if from nowhere.
  • When science invades such realms, science turns to military rather mysteriously.
  • He forced cuts in bases and procurement on the outraged joint chiefs, only to find some money mysteriously restored again.
  • They had a fine time over the affair of a ring of hers which seems mysteriously to have disappeared at the ministry.
British Dictionary definitions for mysteriously


characterized by or indicative of mystery
puzzling, curious, or enigmatic
Derived Forms
mysteriously, adverb
mysteriousness, noun
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 mysteriously



1610s, "full of mystery," from Latin mysterium (see mystery (n.1)) + -ous. Related: Mysteriously; mysteriousness. Earlier in same sense was mysterial (early 15c.), from Late Latin mysterialis.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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