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Mystify   /mˈɪstəfˌaɪ/   Listen
Mystify

verb
(past & past part. mystified; pres. part. mystifying)
1.
Be a mystery or bewildering to.  Synonyms: amaze, baffle, beat, bewilder, dumbfound, flummox, get, gravel, nonplus, perplex, pose, puzzle, stick, stupefy, vex.  "Got me--I don't know the answer!" , "A vexing problem" , "This question really stuck me"
2.
Make mysterious.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Mystify" Quotes from Famous Books



... the first time that people of the forest had paused on the hill at twilight to look down on Bradleyburg. The sight always seemed to intrigue and mystify the wild folk,—the shadowed street, the spire of the moldering church ghostly in the half-light, the long row of unpainted shacks, and the dim, pale gleam of an occasional lighted window. The old bull ...
— The Snowshoe Trail • Edison Marshall

... 1868. Instead of this, all was equivocation. The Derbyite, as was well said, was protectionist in a county, neutral in a small town, free trader in a large one. He was for Maynooth in Ireland, and against it in Scotland. Mr. Disraeli did his best to mystify the agricultural elector by phrases about set-offs and compensations and relief of burdens, 'seeming to loom in the future.' He rang the changes on mysterious new principles of taxation, but what ...
— The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3) - 1809-1859 • John Morley

... views he would have about himself and life! Would he think himself an abstract intelligence, out of space and time? What a riddle his physical sensations would be to him! Or, suppose him to meet with another being brought up in the same way; how they would mystify each other! Would they learn to feel shame, love, hate? or do the passions only grow in sunshine? Would they ever laugh? Would they hatch plots against each other, lie, deceive? Would they have secrets ...
— Idolatry - A Romance • Julian Hawthorne

... public had faded. The English are now suppressing our reports on the successes of our submarines and our statements as to submarine losses; they dare not make public the amount of tonnage sunk, but mystify the public with shipping statistics which have given rise to general annoyance in the English Press itself. The English Government lets its people go on calmly trusting to the myth that instead of six U-boats ...
— In the World War • Count Ottokar Czernin

... time pass heavily with them, and they revenged their own ennui on all around them. How he would snub the old man for the son's pretensions, and sneer at the young man for his disproportioned ambition; and last of all, how he would mystify poor Kate, till she never knew whether he cared to fatten calves and turkeys, or was simply drawing her on to little details, which he was to dramatise one day in an ...
— Lord Kilgobbin • Charles Lever

... and curves the lips took, with an alert, arch, witty face; a delicate high-bred face; and withal a somewhat sensuous, emotional face; the face of a woman with a vast deal of humour in her soul; a vast deal of mischief; of a woman who would love to tease you, and mystify you, and lead you on, and put you off; and yet who, in her own way, at her own time, would know supremely well how to ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume X (of X) • Various

... to mystify you," he added, "but the presence of any one else might jeopardize my plan. I ...
— The Return of Dr. Fu-Manchu • Sax Rohmer

... I have dispatched to London an anonymous letter for M r. Noel Vanstone. It will be forwarded to its destination by the same means which I successfully adopted to mystify Mr. Pendril; and it will reach Vauxhall Walk, Lambeth, by the afternoon of to-morrow ...
— No Name • Wilkie Collins

... frontier." Gard grew wary. This knowing and recent familiarity was not becoming entirely agreeable. It would be prudent to mystify ...
— Villa Elsa - A Story of German Family Life • Stuart Henry

... acting.' The performers were anything but word perfect and hopelessly forgot or confused their business, which, more especially in a play of such a type as this romantic comedy so full of busy and complicated detail demanding close and continuous attention, was enough to mystify the audience completely and foredoom the piece to failure. The worst sinner was Haunce himself, who hardly spoke one of his lines but gagged from start to finish. Not unnaturally, Mrs. Behn resented this and avows that ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. I (of 6) • Aphra Behn

... was a source of considerable entertainment to us, and became still more so through the espieglerie of our attendant, Jeannotte, who took occasion to mystify him at our expense. This object of mirth was a little stout mountaineer, who came every week from his home in the mountains—between the valleys of Ossau and Aspe—with a load of butter and cheese, with which his strong, sure-footed ...
— Barn and the Pyrenees - A Legendary Tour to the Country of Henri Quatre • Louisa Stuart Costello

... in this country is a disease," begins the narrative. "My part in this international murder will paralyze the politician and mystify the sober mind of intelligent belief.... History will not be satisfied, however, without a VICTIM, and I must furnish a victim that will satisfy the mob outside!... The Order has been given.... There are celebrations among the banditti.... there are moistened eyes among many peasants; there ...
— Rescuing the Czar - Two authentic Diaries arranged and translated • James P. Smythe

... his career as an author, Scott never avowed his responsibility for any of these series of novels, and even took some pains to mystify the public as to the identity between the author of Waverley and the author of Tales of my Landlord. The care with which the secret was kept is imputed by Mr. Lockhart in some degree to the habit of mystery which had grown upon Scott during his secret partnership ...
— Sir Walter Scott - (English Men of Letters Series) • Richard H. Hutton

... Vaches," said Colville. They tried to mystify him further about the bouquets; they succeeded in being very gay, and in making themselves laugh a great deal. Mrs. Bowen was even livelier than the ...
— Indian Summer • William D. Howells

... miles, make the rocks of total depravity loom up far above the white capped waves of theological doubt. The lower law being less important than the higher, it takes but 1,984 lawyers to successfully mystify the juries of the Commonwealth. Of physicians and surgeons there are 2,845. It requires the constant services of 2,463 persons to entertain us with music, and just one less, 2,462 barbers, who are in daily tonsorial conflict with our hair, either rebuking it where it does grow, ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Volume 3, No. 6 • Various

... intention of making Mr. angry, but he did get angry. He left off speaking to me by my Christian name; he called me by my surname. He said: "Let me tell you, Miss Gracedieu, it is not becoming in a young lady to mystify her elders." ...
— The Legacy of Cain • Wilkie Collins

... be more intelligible to you than to me, and might give you some insight into literary and social, as well as bibliopolical relations. But many details of this account will not yet settle themselves into sure facts, but do dance and mystify me as one green in ledgers. Bookseller says nine hundred and ninety-one copies came from Binder, nine remaining imperfect, and so not bound. But in all my reckonings of the particulars of distribution I make either more or less than ...
— The Correspondence of Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson, - 1834-1872, Vol. I • Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson

... ourselves with the second party, and conceive that we must cease speaking of 'the mind,' and discontinue enlisting in our investigations a spiritual essence, the existence of which cannot be proved, but which tends to mystify and perplex a question sufficiently clear if we confine ourselves to the consideration of organised matter—its forms—its changes—and its aberrations ...
— An Apology for Atheism - Addressed to Religious Investigators of Every Denomination - by One of Its Apostles • Charles Southwell

... individuals. The prosperity and happiness of mankind are at stake; and the welfare of succeeding generations will, in no small degree, be influenced by the establishment of sound principles in education at the present time. Nothing, therefore, should be allowed to mystify or cripple that science, upon which the spread and the permanence of all ...
— A Practical Enquiry into the Philosophy of Education • James Gall

... investigations only served to mystify the world to a greater degree. The only thing that came to light was the cause of the bodies' bonelike rigidity. In some inexplicable way the bones in the seamen had dissolved, and according to appearances, ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, November, 1930 • Various

... left. At one point, however, 'Siah found where two persons—a white man and a red one—had embarked in a canoe which had been hidden under the bank of the creek. Evidently Crow Wing had expected the place would be searched and had done all in his power to mystify ...
— With Ethan Allen at Ticonderoga • W. Bert Foster

... the Epistolae, and in the second edition are attributed to Ortuinus Gratius. If they are by him, he must have been a dull dog indeed; but by some it has been thought that they are the work of a Reuchlinist, to mystify the monks of Cologne, and render them still more ridiculous; yet, as the Pope's bull against the Epistolae, and Erasmus's disapproving letter, find a prominent place, and some other well-grounded inculpations occur, it appears to me that some slender-witted advocate of the enemies ...
— Notes & Queries, No. 38, Saturday, July 20, 1850 • Various

... personal inconsistency or womanly prejudice, but as due to a gleam of insight? What clew to the case does Adriana's meekness afford? Or else of the relationship of the Abbess to the twins? Why does she so peremptorily keep the man from his wife? Is not this conduct devised to mystify the audience rather ...
— Shakespeare Study Programs; The Comedies • Charlotte Porter and Helen A. Clarke

... were secretly denounced and afterwards found innocent, then it would only mystify the French police; the policy pursued towards the Surete, as well as towards Sir Hugh, was a clever move on ...
— The Doctor of Pimlico - Being the Disclosure of a Great Crime • William Le Queux

... wish you would do me a favour," said Daireh. "A lady—a friend of mine—wants to send a valentine to a man in Ireland, and is anxious to mystify him. She has got me to direct it, and would like it to have the London post-mark. Will you drop ...
— For Fortune and Glory - A Story of the Soudan War • Lewis Hough

... intuitively, judge by intuition; hazard a proposition, hazard a guess, talk at random. reason ill, falsely &c. adj.; misjudge &c. 481; paralogize[obs3]. take on faith, take as a given; assume (supposition) 514. pervert, quibble; equivocate, mystify, evade, elude; gloss over, varnish; misteach &c. 538[obs3]; mislead &c. (error) 495; cavil, refine, subtilize[obs3], split hairs; misrepresent &c. (lie) 544. beg the question, reason in a circle, reason in ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... is the sword-stick I sent papa for the New Year. You ordered it yourself from Toledo. See, here is the crest. Where did you get it? Do not mystify me. Tell me quickly—is he here? Has ...
— The Velvet Glove • Henry Seton Merriman

... man who finds a piece of parchment on which is a secret writing telling where Captain Kidd hid his treasure off the coast of South Carolina. The gold-beetle has nothing whatever to do with the real story, and is only introduced to mystify. It is one of the principles of all conjuring tricks to have something to divert the attention. Poe's detective story is a sort of conjuring trick, but it is all the more interesting because he fully ...
— Four Famous American Writers: Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, • Sherwin Cody

... your tricks, Prime," cried Tom, suspecting the negro of an intention to mystify them with a jargon like that he had ...
— The Lost Hunter - A Tale of Early Times • John Turvill Adams

... secretly yearning for the satisfaction of the marriage relation, or for the sense of completion in parenthood; then the tension from these unsatisfied desires shows itself in a hundred little everyday instances of lack of self-control. These mystify him and his friends, but they are understandable when the ...
— Outwitting Our Nerves - A Primer of Psychotherapy • Josephine A. Jackson and Helen M. Salisbury

... maintained in Rosalie that early perception of the wondrousness of her father. She loved her mother, but in the atmosphere surrounding her mother there was often flurry and worry and there was nothing whatever in her mother to mystify and entrance by sudden and violent eruptions of the miraculous. She did not love her father for he was entirely too remote and awe-ful for love, but he entranced her with his marvellousness. This maintained in her also her perception of the altogether greater superiority ...
— This Freedom • A. S. M. Hutchinson

... joy would spend. Poor fools the muses' fair regards Why court for such a paltry end? I tell you, give them more, still more, 'tis all I ask, Thus you will ne'er stray widely from the goal; Your audience seek to mystify, cajole;— To satisfy them—that's a harder task. What ails thee? ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... mysteries to each other," she suggested. "I mystify you because I wonder, and you mystify me because you don't guess why I wonder. We'll let it go ...
— Alice Adams • Booth Tarkington

... the trial documents themselves, forced to abjure under threats, and subjected to imprisonment by command of the Pope; the Inquisition deferring in this whole matter to the papal authority. All the long series of attempts made in the supposed interest of the Church to mystify these transactions have at last failed. The world knows now that Galileo was subjected certainly to indignity, to imprisonment, and to threats equivalent to torture, and was at last forced to pronounce publicly and on his knees ...
— History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom • Andrew Dickson White

... enthusiasm in the midst of Meshech and Kedar. What makes it base and morbid is the desire to exclude for the sake of exclusion; to indulge in solitary raptures, hoping to be overheard; to keep the tail of the eye upon the public; to attempt to mystify; and to trade upon the inquisitive instinct of human beings, the natural desire, that is, to know what is going on within any group that seems to have ...
— Escape and Other Essays • Arthur Christopher Benson

... incline with Johnson, Warton, Bowles, Macaulay, and Carruthers, to look upon it as one of Pope's ape-like stratagems—to believe that P.T. was himself, Smith his agent, and that his objects were partly to outwit Curll, to mystify the public, to gratify that strange love of manoeuvring which dwelt as strongly in him as in any match-making mamma, and to attract interest and attention to the genuine correspondence when it should appear. Pope, it was said, could not "drink tea without a stratagem," and far ...
— The Poetical Works Of Alexander Pope, Vol. 1 • Alexander Pope et al

... his friend Gonzaga. He doubted, even, whether some praises addressed to him by Orazio Ariosto, the nephew of the great poet, which, one would have thought, would have been to him a consummation of bliss, were not intended to mystify and hurt him. At length he fancied that his persecutors had accused him of heresy to the Inquisition; and, as he had gone through the metaphysical doubts, common with most men of reflection respecting points of faith and the mysteries ...
— Stories from the Italian Poets: With Lives of the Writers, Vol. 2 • Leigh Hunt

... a question upon which all the subtilty of jesuitic schoolmen and casuists has been exhausted, to mystify and mislead the honest inquirer in every age. The Jews, Papists, Greeks, English, have each claimed the divine favour as being exclusively limited to their respective sects. Apostolic descent has been considered to depend upon human ceremonies, instead ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... girls looked at each other with dancing eyes, but said nothing. It had been their sport all their lives to mystify people about their several identities. And here was a situation in which they determined—both of them—to keep their ...
— The Girls of Central High on Lake Luna - or, The Crew That Won • Gertrude W. Morrison

... nothing. That is why no one has read her riddle, translated her mystic smile. Yet many people smile mysteriously, without any profound meanings behind their smile, with no other reason than a desire to mystify. Perhaps the Sphinx smiles to herself just for the fun of seeing us take her smile so seriously. And surely women must so smile as they hear their psychology so gravely discussed. Of course, the superstition is invaluable to them, and it is only natural that they should make the most of it. Man ...
— Prose Fancies (Second Series) • Richard Le Gallienne

... despoil. Pretty, beautiful, comely, handsome, fair. Profitable, remunerative, lucrative, gainful. Prompt, punctual, ready, expeditious. Pull, draw, drag, haul, tug, tow. Push, shove, thrust. Puzzle, perplex, mystify, bewilder. ...
— The Century Vocabulary Builder • Creever & Bachelor

... culprit would never be found, as Catholic institutions are built with the purpose of sheltering her abominable faithless in case these criminals' desire to hide themselves therein, as the convents, monasteries and cloisters have a labyrinth which would mystify any one who was not used ...
— Thirty Years In Hell - Or, From Darkness to Light • Bernard Fresenborg

... of the minority of the committee sent in a very strong report condemning the system. He declares "the system is nothing but an absurd attempt to mystify and perplex a subject, which ought to be left plain and clear to the common apprehensions of common men." Further on he states, "No human ingenuity can show a reason for believing that the way to learn ...
— Lands of the Slave and the Free - Cuba, The United States, and Canada • Henry A. Murray

... concerted not by him but by Mr. Thomasson and his confederates? The setting down near Pomeroy's gate, the reception at his house, the rough, hasty suit paid to her—were these all parts of a drama cunningly arranged to mystify her? And was he innocent? Was he still her lover, true, faithful, ...
— The Castle Inn • Stanley John Weyman

... of the modern Faun, for example, loses all the poetry and beauty which the Author fancied in it, and becomes nothing better than a grotesque absurdity, if we bring it into the actual light of day. He had hoped to mystify this anomalous creature between the Real and the Fantastic, in such a manner that the reader's sympathies might be excited to a certain pleasurable degree, without impelling him to ask how Cuvier would ...
— The Marble Faun, Volume II. - The Romance of Monte Beni • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... life. I have no money to pay a lawyer to stand up and mystify matters, and my best policy is to defend myself, by ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... startle her, but she asked, rather quietly, "What do you mean?" and she added, as if to punish him for trying to mystify her: "I've heard that it requires gifts for ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... Brahms' music is brought out in strong light. It is his way of carrying on together a cantus firmus in two's and a counterpoint in three's. All his writing is full of this expedient, one design of which is to mystify the rhythm and to impart to the music a more flowing and ideal character, and at the same time to concentrate the attention of the player upon the large meter, with which these conflicting two's and three's never interfere. In the sixth variation a syncopated ...
— The Masters and their Music - A series of illustrative programs with biographical, - esthetical, and critical annotations • W. S. B. Mathews

... is only one statesman in the whole number of those assembled at Paris, who believes that her institutions will continue free; and he would rather they did not; but he stipulates for it, to gratify and mystify ...
— Imaginary Conversations and Poems - A Selection • Walter Savage Landor

... Verduret read the note, Prosper's rage increased. He was angry and perplexed, for he could not explain the rapidly succeeding events which were so calculated to mystify ...
— File No. 113 • Emile Gaboriau

... very fountain head of constitutional law—that branch of our national jurisprudence which can least fluctuate. Judges of a day and not of a generation, or crazy legislators with spasmodic wisdom, may alter, and overturn, and mystify by simplification, the laws and usages of every-day life; but it is scarcely to be apprehended that the current of our constitutional law will ever be diverted from original channels. There is danger rather of ...
— The International Monthly Magazine - Volume V - No II • Various

... like a stranger at a masked ball, where all the masks are acquainted with each other's disguises and concerted to mystify the visitor. Among the persons I have met at court several have shown themselves ready to guide me through this labyrinth; but, till they themselves unmask and declare their true characters, I am doubtful whither ...
— The Valley of Decision • Edith Wharton

... at his cheerful breakfast, was busied with thoughts of the coming arrival of Hugh Johnstone's secret foe. "I must have money from her at once to swing Ram Lal's Private Inquiry Bureau and to mystify these quid nuncs here. For I must entertain the clubmen a bit. It's as well to begin, also, to pot down a bit of her money for the future. She shall pay her way, as she goes." And, with a view to the ...
— A Fascinating Traitor • Richard Henry Savage

... very good game, which always causes considerable amusement, and if skillfully carried out will very successfully mystify ...
— My Book of Indoor Games • Clarence Squareman

... a sly quirk of the mouth, and meaning to mystify his wooden-headed questioner still more, he answered: "Dead-struck? Dead- drunk, you mean. I'm a Nature's dipsomaniac—as you can see," he added with a sly note ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... of this substance have been published, almost all of which, however, appear to complicate and mystify a process that ...
— The Art of Perfumery - And Methods of Obtaining the Odors of Plants • G. W. Septimus Piesse

... rustics whom our partisan governors have made politically equal with the wisest in the land. Three young friends came to spend a day with us, and for fun brought in their pockets the absurd noses popular at Epsom races. We came upon some turf-diggers, and my visitors mounted their masks to mystify them. The clodpoles looked scared and very quiet, till I went up to one of them who knew me,—of course I was in my natural physiognomy,—and I said to him, "My friend, these are foreigners:" and the poor ignoramus staring at those ...
— My Life as an Author • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... exclusion, it was quite as usual then, as now, to cry out against the moral throes of violated right, since the same eagerness to possess, the same selfishness in grasping, however unjustly obtained, and the same audacity of assertion with a view to mystify, pervaded the Christian world a century since as exist to-day. The cunning Pippo saw that the bait had taken, and, assuming a still more respectful ...
— The Headsman - The Abbaye des Vignerons • James Fenimore Cooper

... eleven others in reporting the debates in Parliament for a Morning Newspaper. Night after night, I record predictions that never come to pass, professions that are never fulfilled, explanations that are only meant to mystify. I wallow in words. Britannia, that unfortunate female, is always before me, like a trussed fowl: skewered through and through with office-pens, and bound hand and foot with red tape. I am sufficiently behind ...
— David Copperfield • Charles Dickens

... had a strong conviction that the Runic alphabet and dialect were simply an invention to mystify poor human nature, I was delighted to find that my uncle knew as much about the matter as I did—which was nothing. At all events the tremulous motion of his fingers made ...
— A Journey to the Centre of the Earth • Jules Verne

... still further, but he would not dazzle eyes that were yet imperfect with a light brighter than they could stand. He would therefore impose upon people, as much as he thought was for their good; but, on the other hand, he would not allow inferior men to mystify them. ...
— Evolution, Old & New - Or, the Theories of Buffon, Dr. Erasmus Darwin and Lamarck, - as compared with that of Charles Darwin • Samuel Butler

... It is however of the highest importance that the thought of its simplicity be made prominent. Let us not undervalue religious knowledge; for to some extent it is absolutely necessary. But do not mystify the plan of mercy, and perplex the anxious seeker by requirements which the gospel has not made prominent. Many a poor sinner exercises faith in Christ who cannot give a philosophical disquisition as to its nature. It is not necessary ...
— The Wesleyan Methodist Pulpit in Malvern • Knowles King

... the knowledge that a man may, if he will, live the life of a Mormon in Utah, on the quiet; and if he present a wife well gilt with gold, and a title, to society; society will fall prostrate; or this knowledge might mystify us." ...
— A Heart-Song of To-day • Annie Gregg Savigny

... doesn't straggle. The mule can keep up with us as long as possible, but it must keep together. Likewise the ox-transport, taking its own time, must keep closed up. I assure you the only object of these people on this journey will be to get away. Two blocks of moving waggons will mystify them, not attract them. Right away,—not a word about the change of direction until after dark—not even to C.O.'s. Tell 'em ...
— On the Heels of De Wet • The Intelligence Officer

... force. It was impossible to hide the whole of our camp from view and properly hold the position, but we made use of such cover as we could find, and prepared to defend the pass against all comers, since it was vain to attempt to mystify the enemy as to ...
— Military Reminiscences of the Civil War V1 • Jacob Dolson Cox

... Constance, you are very good to bear with me. Suppose, now, my father, instead of sending me here, had commanded that I should sojourn and mystify with that righteous Mrs. Lambert, whom he magnifies into a model of holiness; what a time I should have passed! Why, the nuns, whom the holy Sexburga placed up yonder, had not as much loneliness; don't you think the place was admirably adapted for an elopement? I am certain—nay, ...
— The Buccaneer - A Tale • Mrs. S. C. Hall

... for obtaining cheap knowledge it is now our intention to adopt. Having got the poorest and least learned authors we could find (of course for cheapness) for our former pieces of information, we have this time engaged a gentleman to mystify a few common-place subjects, in the style of certain articles in the "Penny Cyclopaedia." As his erudition is too profound for ordinary comprehensions—as he scorns gain—as the books he has hitherto published ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, August 28, 1841 • Various

... mystify you, Leopold," laughed Mr. Hamilton. "The mate of the Orion is in charge of her. She is a new boat, finished just before I left New York, and offered for sale. On the day after you lost your sloop, I sent the mate to purchase her for you. There ...
— The Coming Wave - The Hidden Treasure of High Rock • Oliver Optic

... want your word you'll get that photograph into my hands by to-morrow afternoon, no matter what transpires in the meantime. And look here, Carruthers, don't think I'm playing the silly thickhead, and trying to mystify you. I'm no detective or anything like that. I've just got an idea that apparently hasn't occurred to any one else—and, of course, I may be all wrong. If I am, I'm not going to say a word even to ...
— The Adventures of Jimmie Dale • Frank L. Packard

... such formidable mystery, may have been nothing more, after all, than some imposture of this kind, some dimly hinted confession of undefined horrors, which, though intended by the relater but to mystify and surprise, the hearer so little understood him as to take ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. 6 (of 6) - With his Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... be a curious reckoning which, in face of such a catena as this, stretching its links over the whole period, maintains that England wanted Germans to teach her how to admire the writer whom Germans have done more to mystify and distort ...
— A History of English Literature - Elizabethan Literature • George Saintsbury

... without the society of brothers or sisters or playfellows; but whilst Hoffmann was a son of the town, Hippel's early days had been spent in the country. In another respect, too, they presented a striking contrast in behaviour; Hoffmann's chief delight was to mystify and tease his uncle Otto, but Hippel was most scrupulous in paying to all the proper meed of respect which he conceived he owed them. Once when Hippel reproached his friend about his behaviour towards his uncle, young Hoffmann replied, "But think what relatives fate has blessed me with! ...
— Weird Tales, Vol. II. • E. T. A. Hoffmann

... noticed, is fond of quibbles and word-play, and of 'conceits' and turns of thought such as are common in the poets whom Johnson called Metaphysical. Sometimes, no doubt, he plays with words and ideas chiefly in order to mystify, thwart and annoy. To some extent, again, as we may see from the conversation where Rosencrantz and Guildenstern first present themselves (II. ii. 227), he is merely following the fashion of the ...
— Shakespearean Tragedy - Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth • A. C. Bradley

... third class of these men, who, to arrive at distinction in a turbulent profession, sharpen their mercenary mouths to mystify the truth, and by prostituting their countenances and their vile barking, work their way with the public. These men, whenever the judge is embarrassed and perplexed, entangle the matter before him with further difficulties, ...
— The Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus • Ammianus Marcellinus

... when he read the announcement that she would be buried two days later in the Potter's Field. Perhaps the girl had starved for lack of work, he reflected. Perhaps hunger and cold had driven her to her death. Certainly those two were to blame for many a tragedy calculated to mystify warmly clad ...
— Laughing Bill Hyde and Other Stories • Rex Beach

... been watching Elsa. It disturbed but did not mystify him to see her talking to the colonel. Table-chance had brought them together, and perhaps to a better understanding. How pale she was! From time to time he caught the flash of her eyes as she turned to this or that guest. Once she smiled, but the smile did not lighten up her ...
— Parrot & Co. • Harold MacGrath



Words linked to "Mystify" :   fox, mystery, mystifier, confound, demystify, mystification, stump, bedevil, veil, fuddle, obliterate, confuse, elude, perplex, blot out, puzzle, throw, obscure, escape, hide, discombobulate, mix up, riddle, befuddle, pose



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