Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to metaphysics.
  • adj. Based on speculative or abstract reasoning.
  • adj. Highly abstract or theoretical; abstruse.
  • adj. Immaterial; incorporeal. See Synonyms at immaterial.
  • adj. Supernatural.
  • adj. Of or relating to the poetry of a group of 17th-century English poets whose verse is characterized by an intellectually challenging style and extended metaphors comparing very dissimilar things.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or pertaining to metaphysics.
  • adj. Immaterial, supersensual, not physical (more properly, "beyond" that which is physical).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to metaphysics.
  • adj. According to rules or principles of metaphysics.
  • adj. Preternatural or supernatural.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to metaphysic or metaphysics; in a loose sense, philosophical; hence, highly abstruse; apart from ordinary or practical modes of thought.
  • Relating to real being, and not merely to appearance; transcendental; hence, pertaining to unverifiable hypotheses.
  • Pertaining to abstractions, or modes thought of as objects, and named as if they were things; abstract.
  • Preternatural or supernatural.
  • A whole of comprehension, or a logical term conceived as compounded of its predicates.
  • A whole of comprehension in a more general sense; a natural whole; any whole in which the subject is viewed as the whole of which the predicates are parts.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. highly abstract and overly theoretical
  • adj. pertaining to or of the nature of metaphysics
  • adj. without material form or substance

Etymologies

Middle English metaphisicalle, from Medieval Latin metaphysicālis, from metaphysica, metaphysics; see metaphysics.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Grammatically derived from "metaphysics" (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The term metaphysical is used here to include anything in your life that has an inwardly energetic and invisible quality, such as:

    ChiWalking

  • In addition, the English word "metaphysical" is defined to mean something that is outside the realm of empirical verification.

    Antony Flew dies at 87

  • The term metaphysical, originating with Dryden, and used by Johnson with a slight difference, may be easily miscomprehended by any one who chooses to forget its legitimate application both etymologically and by usage to that which comes, as it were, behind or after nature.

    A History of Elizabethan Literature

  • There were, in truth, many such theories, and to some of them the term metaphysical, in M. Comte's sense, cannot justly be applied.

    Auguste Comte and Positivism

  • In practice the use of the term metaphysical naturalism reduces to the more specific ontological view of scientific naturalism, because science is dependent upon naturalism in order to be able to done.

    CreationWiki - Recent changes [en]

  • He said the term metaphysical is often misunderstood and said it's about the power of the mind, not some strange spiritual practice.

    Local News from The Lakeland Ledger

  • Ms. Atwood traces a heritage for sci-fi broad enough to include the "traveler's tales" of Herodotus, "scientific romances" like Edward Bellamy's "Looking Backward" and what she calls the "metaphysical romance" of Aldous Huxley.

    The Future of Science Fiction

  • One student, Stacy, was struggling with what she referred to as a metaphysical “thorn” in her foot.

    When Animals Speak

  • I know the common meanings; ie, the metaphysical is that which cannot in principle be subject to emperical testing; or that the metaphysical is the domain of ultimate ontology and causation; or indeed, that the metaphysical is simply the meta theory of physics.

    Clear Thinking?

  • In his book Small Is Beautiful, E.F Schumacher emphasises very strongly that the most important task for our times is not so much an economic reconstruction, although this is vital and necessary, but what he calls a metaphysical reconstruction or a religious reconstruction-looking deeper into our philosophical and metaphysical foundations and seeing what has gone wrong.

    Philosophy will be life-enhancing

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Comments

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  • Meta just about anything is cool.

    December 1, 2006