"pertaining to or characteristic of the mystic festivals of ancient Greece; characterized by wild revelry, frantically enthusiastic," 1690s, from Latinized form of Greek orgiastikos "fit for orgies, exciting," from orgiastes "one who celebrates orgies," from orgiazein "to celebrate orgies," from orgia "secret religous rites or customs" (see orgy).
fem. proper name, Medieval Latin, from Old High German Ida, which is perhaps related to Old Norse ið "work." As the name of a mountain near Troy and one in Crete (the mystic birthplace of Zeus), it probably is a different word, of unknown or non-IE origin; related: Idaean.
"Jewish mystic philosophy," 1520s, also quabbalah, etc., from Medieval Latin cabbala, from Mishnaic Hebrew qabbalah "reception, received lore, tradition," especially "tradition of mystical interpretation of the Old Testament," from qibbel "to receive, admit, accept." Compare Arabic qabala "he received, accepted." Hence "any secret or esoteric science." Related: Cabbalist.
1610s, "full of mystery, obscure, not revealed or explained," from Latin mysterium (see mystery (n.1)) + -ous. Related: Mysteriously; mysteriousness. Earlier in same sense was mysterial (early 15c.), from Late Latin mysterialis.
Mysterious is the most common word for that which is unknown and excites curiosity and perhaps awe; the word is sometimes used where mystic would be more precise. Mystic is especially used of that which has been designed to excite and baffle curiosity, involving meanings in signs, rites, etc., but not with sufficient plainness to be understood by any but the initiated. [Century Dictionary]
God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm
[Cowper, from the "Olney Hymns," 1779]
Related: Mysteriously; mysteriousness.
1560s, from Kasper Schwenkfeld (1490-1561), Silesian Protestant mystic who founded the sect. Their original name for themselves was Confessors of the Glory of Christ. Schwenkfelder (n.) is attested from 1882.
They select their ministers by lot, maintain a strict church discipline, and do not observe the sacraments. They are now found chiefly in Pennsylvania. [Century Dictionary, 1890]
acquired name (Russian, literally "debauchee") of Grigory Yefimovich Novykh (c. 1872-1916), mystic and faith healer who held sway over court of Nicholas II of Russia. His nickname is from his doctrine of "rebirth through sin," that true holy communion must be preceded by immersion in sin. His name has been used figuratively in English from 1937 for anyone felt to wield an insidious and corrupting influence.
"of or related to Orpheus or the doctrines attributed to him," 1670s, from Latinized form of Greek orphikos "pertaining to Orpheus," the legendary master musician of ancient Thrace, son of Eagrus and Calliope, husband of Eurydice, who had the power of charming all living things and inanimate objects with his lyre. His name is of unknown origin. In later times he was accounted a philosopher and adept in secret knowledge, and various mystic doctrines were associated with his name, whence Orphic mysteries, etc. (late 17c.). The earlier adjective was Orphean (1590s). Related: Orphism.
Applied variously over the years, including to the followers of Swedenborg. Taken as the name of a modern philosophical system (sometimes called Esoteric Buddhism), founded in New York 1875 as "Theosophical Society" by Madame Blavatsky and others, which has elements of Hinduism and Buddhism and claims supernatural knowledge of the divinity and his words deeper than that obtained from empiricism. Related: Theosophist.
"writing which avoids all words containing a particular letter" (an ancient literary pastime; in English typically -e-), 1711, abstracted from Greek lipogrammatikos, literally "wanting a letter," from stem of leipein "to leave, be lacking" (from PIE root *leikw- "to leave") + gramma "a letter, character" (see -gram).
If Youth, throughout all history, had had a champion to stand up for it; to show a doubting world that a child can think; and, possibly, do it practically, you wouldn't constantly run across folks today who claim that "a child don't know anything." A child's brain starts functioning at birth; and has, amongst its many infant convolutions, thousands of dormant atoms, into which God has put a mystic possibility for noticing an adult's act, and figuring out its purport. [Ernest Vincent Wright, "Gadsby: A Story of Over 50,000 Words without Using the Letter 'e'," Los Angeles: 1939]