"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[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.
Origin of mystify
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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for mystify
  • We believe that historians should clarify and explain rather than mystify and confuse.
  • Current notices are not being read and simply confuse and mystify the few plan participants who try to follow them.
  • Not one to mystify his profession, he is friendly and accessible.
  • Uncle's disappearance continues to mystify his devotees.
  • But the truth is that many of its properties still mystify scientists.
  • When she wishes, she can mystify and terrify in a phrase--or create a tableau of misery that lingers.
  • These user-friendly strategies remove writing barriers as well as de-mystify the writing process for all students.
  • Her workshop is intended to de-mystify color theory and teach a simple and elegant process for accurate color mixing.
  • His magic and humor are designed to captivate and mystify audiences of all ages.
  • The goal of this talk is not only to entertain and mystify, but also to teach.
British Dictionary definitions for mystify


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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for 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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for mystify

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for mystify

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for mystify