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[mis-tuh-fahy] /ˈmɪs təˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), mystified, mystifying.
to perplex (a person) by playing upon the person's credulity; bewilder purposely.
to involve in mystery or obscurity.
1805-15; < French mystifier, equivalent to mysti- (irregular combining form of mystique mystic or mystère mystery1) + -fier -fy
Related forms
mystification, noun
mystifiedly, adverb
mystifier, noun
mystifyingly, adverb
overmystification, noun
overmystify, verb (used with object), overmystified, overmystifying.
unmystified, adjective
1. fool, mislead, elude, puzzle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mystified
  • They were perhaps mystified about why they did not get an invitation to the next step in the process, or ultimately an offer.
  • The latter pair say they are mystified by what has unfolded.
  • Mirrors also provide intrigue as mystified monkeys try to find the monkey inside of the mirror.
  • And the reporter who broke the story remains mystified.
  • Scientists believe they are closing in fast on the secrets of cancer, a disease that has mystified them for centuries.
  • The better informed correspondents are mystified by this article.
  • Such is the speed of innovation that doctors are often mystified about the cause when drug-taking youngsters fall ill.
  • They were mystified he did not want to build an illegal logging mill.
  • The question has long puzzled parents and mystified spouses, but it has also increasingly engaged the attention of academics.
  • Yet many participants were initially mystified about the event's real purpose.
British Dictionary definitions for mystified


verb (transitive) -fies, -fying, -fied
to confuse, bewilder, or puzzle
to make mysterious or obscure
Derived Forms
mystification, noun
mystifier, noun
mystifying, adjective
mystifyingly, adverb
Word Origin
C19: from French mystifier, from mystèremystery1 or mystiquemystic
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 mystified

"bewildered, puzzled," 1863, past participle adjective from mystify.



1814, from French mystifier (1772), a verb formed irregularly from mystique "a mystic" (see mystic (adj.)) + -fier (see -fy). Related: Mystified; mystifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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