a. Belief in direct experience of transcendent reality or God, especially by means of contemplation and asceticism instead of rational thought.
b. Such experience had by an individual.
2. Belief in the existence of realities beyond perceptual or intellectual apprehension that are directly accessible by subjective experience: belief in séances, astral projection, and similar mysticism.
3. Belief that is not based on evidence or subjected to criticism: "[When] grappling with the evils they have themselves exposed ... these lifelong Marxists drift off into vague mysticism and into worship of personality" (I.F. Stone).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.