Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To confuse or puzzle mentally. See Synonyms at puzzle.
  • transitive v. To make obscure or mysterious.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to thoroughly confuse, befuddle, or bewilder

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To involve in mystery; to make obscure or difficult to understand.
  • transitive v. To perplex the mind of; to puzzle; to impose upon the credulity of; to baffle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To perplex purposely; play on the credulity of; bewilder; befog.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. be a mystery or bewildering to
  • v. make mysterious

Etymologies

French mystifier : mystère, mystery (from Latin mystērium; see mystery1) + -fier, -fy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French mystifier, from Ancient Greek μυστικός (mystikos, "secret, mystic") + Latin -ficare. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • On p.224 of Easton Press's "The Three Musketeers" by Dumas, "mystify" is used in the sense of "to play mind games" or "to mess with someone's mind".

    September 14, 2008