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From French mystifier, from Ancient Greek μυστικός (mustikós, secret, mystic) + Latin -ficare.


  • IPA(key): /ˈmɪstɪfaɪ/
  • (file)


mystify (third-person singular simple present mystifies, present participle mystifying, simple past and past participle mystified)

  1. (transitive) To thoroughly confuse, befuddle, or bewilder.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter II, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., OCLC 222716698:
      I had occasion […] to make a somewhat long business trip to Chicago, and on my return […] I found Farrar awaiting me in the railway station. He smiled his wonted fraction by way of greeting, […], and finally leading me to his buggy, turned and drove out of town. I was completely mystified at such an unusual proceeding.
    Solar eclipses continued to mystify ancient humans for thousands of years.

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