be a mystery
• It’s a mystery how he got my phone number.
remain a mystery
• What caused the accident remains a mystery.
solve/unravel a mystery
(= find out what happened )
• The children were given the clues and had to try to solve the mystery.
the mystery deepens
(= it becomes more difficult to understand )
• Why would he run away if he were not guilty? The mystery deepens.
the mystery surrounding something
• Research has unravelled much of the mystery surrounding the ageing process.
a complete/total mystery
• She said that her husband’s disappearance was a complete mystery.
an unsolved mystery
• What happened to her is still an unsolved mystery.
a great mystery
(= a big and important mystery )
• It is one of the great mysteries of science.
a little/minor mystery
• It was a minor mystery how the file had survived the fire.
a big mystery
• If they are right, they have solved one of the biggest mysteries in astronomy.
something is one of life’s (little) mysteries
(= it is something that you will never understand – used humorously )
• Where socks disappear to after they’ve been washed is one of life’s little mysteries.
be shrouded/veiled in mystery
(= be unable to be explained )
• The origins of this tradition remain shrouded in mystery.
mystery surrounds something
(= something cannot be explained )
• Mystery has always surrounded the purpose of the great stone circle of Stonehenge.
(= big and important mystery )
• the deep mystery of the human mind
• We wondered about the great mystery of death.
an element of mystery
(= part of something that seems mysterious )
• There is an element of mystery and miracle in the process.
an air of mystery
(= something that seems mysterious )
• There was an air of mystery about him.
a sense of mystery
(= a feeling that something is mysterious )
• The garden had hidden corners that gave it a sense of mystery.
noun ADJ. big, great How the disease started is one of medicine's great mysteries. | little, minor, small one of life's little mysteries | complete, total She was a total mystery to him despite their long association. | whole He had found the clue to unlock the whole mystery | certain Her blue eyes had a certain mystery. | real | central the central mystery of the story | deep, profound a place of deep mystery and enchantment | arcane | dark, terrible | fascinating | insoluble | unexplained, unsolved | religious, sacred | scientific | murder He is the author of several murder mysteries. VERB + MYSTERY be, present (sb with), remain How these insects actually communicate presents something of a mystery. | have, hold It was easy to believe that the tiny hamlet held some great mystery. | be cloaked in, be shrouded in, be veiled in The whole incident was shrouded in mystery. | lose Air travel has lost much of its mystery. | clear up, explain, resolve, solve, uncover, unlock, unravel The police are close to solving the mystery of the missing murder weapon. | shed/throw light on The witness could shed no light on the mystery of the deceased's identity. | explore, fathom, grapple with, penetrate, understand Her poetry attempts to penetrate the dark mystery of death. | ponder (on) She pondered the mystery of the disappearing thief. MYSTERY + VERB deepen The mystery deepened when the police's only suspect was found murdered. | surround sth the mystery surrounding her resignation MYSTERY + NOUN man, woman Their suspect was a mystery man: a quiet, happily married man with no enemies. | caller, guest | tour | disease, illness, virus PREP. ~ about There's a bit of a mystery about this child. | ~ as to It remains a mystery as to where he was buried. | ~ to My sister is a complete mystery to me. PHRASES an air/aura of mystery Wearing dark glasses gives him an air of mystery. | something of a mystery, take the mystery out of sth Modern weather forecasts try to take the mystery out of meteorology.
Oxford Collocations Dictionary