• The hussar points his pistol at the mysterious women
    The hussar points his pistol at the mysterious women
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n mystery something that baffles understanding and cannot be explained "how it got out is a mystery","it remains one of nature's secrets"
    • n mystery a story about a crime (usually murder) presented as a novel or play or movie
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

One of the intriguing mysteries of Jamestown is how the left leg and left half of a human pelvis came to be thrown with other refuse into a well behind the row house. The logical inference is that a rebel or criminal had been hanged, drawn, and quartered One of the intriguing mysteries of Jamestown is how the left leg and left half of a human pelvis came to be thrown...
Mysterious Mysterious
Webster discovers a mysterious package. P. 475 Webster discovers a mysterious package. P. 475

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Edgar Allan Poe introduced mystery fiction's first fictional detective, Auguste C. Dupin, in his 1841 story, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue."
    • Mystery A dramatic representation of a Scriptural subject, often some event in the life of Christ; a dramatic composition of this character; as, the Chester Mysteries, consisting of dramas acted by various craft associations in that city in the early part of the 14th century. "“ Mystery plays,” so called because acted by craftsmen."
    • Mystery A kind of secret religious celebration, to which none were admitted except those who had been initiated by certain preparatory ceremonies; -- usually plural; as, the Eleusinian mysteries .
    • Mystery A profound secret; something wholly unknown, or something kept cautiously concealed, and therefore exciting curiosity or wonder; something which has not been or can not be explained; hence, specifically, that which is beyond human comprehension. "We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery .""If God should please to reveal unto us this great mystery of the Trinity, or some other mysteries in our holy religion, we should not be able to understand them, unless he would bestow on us some new faculties of the mind."
    • Mystery A trade; a handicraft; hence, any business with which one is usually occupied. "Fie upon him, he will discredit our mystery .""And that which is the noblest mystery Brings to reproach and common infamy."
    • Mystery Anything artfully made difficult; an enigma.
    • Mystery The consecrated elements in the eucharist.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's brilliant detective, arrived on the mystery scene in the late nineteenth century in "A Study in Scarlet" (1887).
    • n mystery plural In ancient religions, rites known to and practised by certain initiated persons only, consisting of purifications, sacrificial offerings, processions, songs, dances, dramatic performances, and the like: as, the Eleusinian mysteries.
    • n mystery In the Christian Church, especially in the early church and in the Greek Church, a sacrament. This name originally had reference partly to the nature of a sacrament itself as concealing a spiritual reality under external form and matter, and partly to the fact that no catechumen was instructed in the doctrine of the sacraments (except partially as to baptism) or admitted to be present at their administration except through baptism as an initiation.
    • n mystery plural The consecrated elements in the eucharist; in the singular, the eucharist.
    • n mystery Any religious doctrine or body of doctrines that seems above human comprehension.
    • n mystery They counte as Fables the holie misteries of Christian Religion.
    • n mystery In general, a fact, matter, or phenomenon of which the meaning, explanation, or cause is not known, and which awakens curiosity or inspires awe; something that is inexplicable; an enigmatic secret.
    • n mystery A form of dramatic composition much in vogue in the middle ages, and still played in some parts of Europe in a modified form, the characters and events of which were drawn from sacred history.
    • n mystery Occupation; trade; office; profession; calling; art; craft.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A "clue" originally meant a ball of thread. This is why one is said to "unravel" the clues of a mystery.
    • n Mystery mis′tėr-i a secret doctrine: anything very obscure: that which is beyond human knowledge to explain: anything artfully made difficult:
    • n Mystery mis′tėr-i a trade, handicraft.
    • n Mystery mis′tėr-i (pl.) secret rites, in ancient religions rites known only to and practised by initiated persons, as the Eleusinian mysteries in Greece, &c.: a sacrament: a rude medieval drama founded on the historical parts of the Bible and the lives of the saints—the Basque pastorales are a survival
    • ***


  • Raymond Chandler
    “At least half the mystery novels published violate the law that the solution, once revealed, must seem to be inevitable.”
  • Alice Meynell
    Alice Meynell
    “Let a man turn to his own childhood -- no further -- if he will renew his sense of remoteness, and of the mystery of change.”
  • Diane Ackerman
    Diane Ackerman
    “It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.”
  • Johann Friedrich Von Schiller
    “Not without a shudder may the human hand reach into the mysterious urn of destiny.”
  • Jules Renard
    “We spend our lives talking about this mystery. Our life.”
  • Jewish Proverb
    Jewish Proverb
    “One of life's greatest mysteries is how the boy who wasn't good enough to marry your daughter can be the father of the smartest grandchild in the world.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. mysterium, Gr. mysth`rion, fr. my`sths one initiated in mysteries; cf. myei^n to initiate into the mysteries, fr. my`ein to shut the eyes. Cf. Mute (a.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
M. E. mysterie—L. mysterium—Gr. mystērionmystēs, one initiated—muein, to close the eyes.


In literature:

The doctrine or hypothesis of evolution does not in any degree explain the mystery of the universe.
"The Complex Vision" by John Cowper Powys
No more was said on the mysterious topic of Miss Anne Valery.
"Agatha's Husband A Novel" by Dinah Maria Craik (AKA: Dinah Maria Mulock)
Precedents did not overawe him, the mysterious authority of distant powers had no effect on his feelings.
"A Literary History of the English People" by Jean Jules Jusserand
Persons, places, and events assume a mystery and importance.
"Olive A Novel" by Dinah Maria Craik, (AKA Dinah Maria Mulock)
The mystery will be a mystery no longer.
"The Lure of the Mask" by Harold MacGrath
Oswald became wildly curious as to this mystery.
"Oswald Langdon" by Carson Jay Lee
There was something about the silent, cold-featured, mysterious old man that led her to believe he might be guilty of any crime.
"Mary Louise in the Country" by L. Frank Baum (AKA Edith Van Dyne)
Hereafter the mystery of Devil Island belongs to me till I make it a mystery no longer.
"Frank Merriwell's Cruise" by Burt L. Standish
There was no mystery.
"Erik Dorn" by Ben Hecht
It was my intention to investigate the mystery, but later events prevented.
"Frank Merriwell Down South" by Burt L. Standish

In poetry:

"But are HIS great desires
Food but for nether fires?
Ah me,
A mystery!
"To The Dead Cardinal Of Westminster" by Francis Thompson
A dreamy mystery veiled the sun;
Keen perfumes stole through glade and grove,
And all the founts of Nature burst
With sudden bubbling streams of love!
"Morning Dew" by Maurice Thompson
Love is like that, the lightest breath
Shakes all its blossoms o'er the land,
And its mysterious cousin, Death,
Waits but to snatch it from your hand.
"The Magic Flower" by Richard Le Gallienne
Deep pondering o'er,
As the question I revolved,
I would have the mystery solved:
'T is for that I 'm here, then see
It is not to speak with thee.
"The Purgatory Of St. Patrick - Act III" by Denis Florence MacCarthy
The breeze, the breath of God, is still,
And the mist upon the hill
Shadowy, shadowy, yet unbroken,
Is a symbol and a token.
How it hangs upon the trees,
A mystery of mysteries!
"Spirits Of The Dead" by Edgar Allan Poe
Weighed down with mysteries profound
I lean upon Thy loving breast;
The great unknown still girts me round,
But Thou art mine, and here I rest;
Unsolved the mysteries remain;
But they no longer give me pain.
"Love Better Than Knowledge" by Joseph Horatio Chant

In news:

"When we remember that we are all mad," Mark Twain wrote in his notebooks, "the mysteries disappear, and life stands explained.
There's not much of a mystery as to who'll win the Statehouse.
Mystery as to why naked man tried to eat another man's face.
A few of Easter Islands nearly 900 moai, majestic, mysterious, oddly human statues.
One of the highlights of the Chicago Underground Film Festival, which continues through August 24, is Peep Show, a found-footage noir nightmare set in Chicago in the 60s and directed by the mysterious J.X.
The AP Solves the Mystery of the Man Behind Innocence of Muslims.
Mystery of Anti-Islam Filmmaker's Link to Libya Embassy Riots Deepens.
In Pakistan, a peacock mystery Michele Langevine Leiby.
"Heroes" has its villain: Jack Coleman, who plays the hit drama's mysterious Mr Bennet, has been made a series regular.
An unsolved mystery from Tuesday's campaign is how perennial candidate Calvin Gurley won 57,000 votes in the DC Council chairman's race.
A mysterious weblog purporting to be the journal of an anonymous heiress on the run from her wealthy family appears to be a hoax.
SOUR PUSS ( A Mrs Murphy Mystery ).
'Mystery Lode,' chapter 4: ' Cave-in '.
'Mystery Lode,' chapter 3: 'The Curse'.
A mystery bust and things that go boom.

In science:

Dark Energy is one of the biggest mysteries of modern cosmology and of fundamental physics in general.
Testing the Void against Cosmological data: fitting CMB, BAO, SN and H0
However, the general case remains a mystery.
A compositional shuffle conjecture specifying touch points of the Dyck path
Mysteriously, the function aα is intimately related to the density of the free stable law of index 0 < α < 1 and asymmetry parameter ρ = 1 derived p.1053 in , that we shall call shortly the positive free stable law.
On classical and free stable laws
Calcium exhibits a non-trivial and somewhat mysterious behavior under pressure.
Exotic behavior and crystal structures of calcium under pressure
We make this remark in order to make the statement of the next theorem slightly less mysterious.
Combinatorial theorems in sparse random sets