Definition of mysterium tremendum in English:

mysterium tremendum

Pronunciation /mɪˌstɪərɪəm trɪˈmɛndəm/


  • A great or profound mystery, especially the mystery of God or of existence; the overwhelming awe felt by a person contemplating such a mystery.

    In theological contexts the term is associated particularly with the German Protestant theologian Rudolf Otto (1869–1937).


Mid 19th century. From post-classical Latin mysterium tremendum tremendous mystery from classical Latin mystērium + tremendum, neuter of tremendus.