mystery1 [mis′tə rē, mis′trē]
pl. mysteries [ME mysterye < L mysterium (in N.T., supernatural thing) < Gr mystērion, a secret rite (in N.T., divine secret) < mystēs, one initiated into the mysteries < myein, to initiate into the mysteries, orig., to close: see MYOPE]
1. something unexplained, unknown, or kept secret [the mystery of life]
a) any thing or event that remains so secret or obscure as to excite curiosity [a murder mystery]
b) a novel, story, or play involving such an event, esp. a crime and the gradual discovery of who committed it
3. the quality of being inexplicable; obscurity or secrecy [an air of mystery surrounding the affair]
4. [pl.] secret rites or doctrines known only to a small, esoteric group; specif., in ancient Greece, religious ceremonies or doctrines revealed only to the initiated
5. [pl.] any of the ancient cults characterized by such ceremonies [the Eleusinian mysteries]
6. [? infl. by MYSTERY2] MYSTERY PLAY
7. R.C.Ch.
a) a sacrament; esp. the Eucharist
b) any of fifteen events in the lives of Jesus and Mary serving as a subject for meditation during the saying of the rosary
8. Theol. any religious truth made known only by divine revelation and accepted through faith
SYN.- MYSTERY1 is applied to something beyond human knowledge or understanding, or it merely refers to any unexplained or seemingly inexplicable matter; ENIGMA specifically applies to that whose meaning is hidden by cryptic or ambiguous allusions, and generally, to anything very difficult to explain; a RIDDLE1 is an enigma (usually in the form of a question in guessing games) that involves paradoxes; a PUZZLE is a situation, problem, or, often, a contrivance, that requires some ingenuity to solve or explain; CONUNDRUM is specifically applied to a riddle whose answer is a pun, and generally, to any puzzling question or problem
mystery2 [mis′tə rē]
pl. mysteries [altered < ME misterie, a trade, craft < ML misterium, altered < L ministerium, office, occupation (see MINISTER), by confusion with mysterium (see MYSTERY1)] Archaic
1. a craft or trade
2. GUILD (sense 1)

English World dictionary. . 2014.

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