Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One who prepares candidates for initiation into a mystery cult.
  • n. One who holds or spreads mystical doctrines.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who prepares an initiate for entry into a mystery cult, or who teaches mystical doctrines
  • n. One who keeps and shows church relics.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who interprets mysteries, especially of a religious kind.
  • n. One who keeps and shows church relics.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who instructs in or interprets mysteries; one who initiates.
  • n. Specifically, in the early church, the priest who prepared candidates for initiation into the sacred mysteries.
  • n. One who keeps church relics and shows them to strangers.

Etymologies

From Latin mystagōgus, from Greek mustagōgos : mustēs, an initiate; see mystery1 + agōgos, guide, leader (from agein, to lead; see ag- in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The largest and most valuable, had I been sensible of such things was a book of marvels by "the most miraculous mystagogue of nature": China monumentis, qua sacris quà profanis, nec non variis naturae & artis spectaculis, aliarumque rerum memorabilium argumentis illustrata, by Athanasius Kircher.

    Kitai

  • Initiation into mysteries, or instruction preparatory to this; the practices or teachings of a mystagogue.

    Archive 2007-07-01

  • He did not know he was by his own boast a mesmerist and a mystagogue; a destroyer of reason and will; an enemy of truth and liberty.

    G.K. Speaks - The Bluff of the Big Shops

  • In the lesser Mysteries [24] the candidate took an oath of secrecy, which was administered to him by the mystagogue, and then received a preparatory instruction, [25] which enabled him afterwards to understand the developments of the higher and subsequent division.

    The Symbolism of Freemasonry

  • Philo looks in every ordinance of the Bible for the spiritual light and conceives the law as an inspiration of spiritual truth and the guide to God, or, as he puts it sometimes, "the mystagogue to divine ecstasy."

    Philo-Judaeus of Alexandria

  • Perhaps they would have but for the definite pronouncement of the mystagogue G.B. Shaw.

    Plum Pudding Of Divers Ingredients, Discreetly Blended & Seasoned

  • Philo looks in every ordinance of the Bible for the spiritual light and conceives the law as an inspiration of spiritual truth and the guide to God, or, as he puts it sometimes, “the mystagogue to divine ecstasy.”

    Philo-Judaeus of Alexandria

  • But in her dealings with social formulæ here in England she is, it must frankly be said, a common mystagogue.

    All Things Considered

  • But the mystagogue succeeds because he gets himself misunderstood; although, as a rule, he is not even worth misunderstanding.

    All Things Considered

  • We have come to the age of the mystagogue or don, the man who has nothing to say, but says it softly and impressively in an indistinct whisper.

    George Bernard Shaw

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Comments

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  • Someone who instructs others before initiation into religious mysteries or before participation in the sacraments.

    A person whose teachings are said to be founded on mystical revelations.

    (Dictionary.Com)

    May 18, 2008