mystify

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mys·ti·fy / ˈmistəˌfī/ • v. (-fies, -fied) [tr.] utterly bewilder or perplex (someone): maladies that have mystified and alarmed researchers for over a decade| [as adj.] (mystifying) a mystifying phenomenon. ∎ dated take advantage of the credulity of; hoax: he took a childlike delight in mystifying his officials. ∎  make obscure or mysterious: lawyers who mystify the legal system so that laymen find it unintelligible. DERIVATIVES: mys·ti·fi·ca·tion / ˌmistəfiˈkāshən/ n. mys·ti·fi·er n. mys·ti·fy·ing·ly adv.