Definitions

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

  • n. An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God: "Miracles are spontaneous, they cannot be summoned, but come of themselves” ( Katherine Anne Porter).
  • n. One that excites admiring awe. See Synonyms at wonder.
  • n. A miracle play.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A wonderful event occurring in the physical world attributed to supernatural powers.
  • n. A fortunate outcome that prevails despite overwhelming odds against it
  • n. An awesome and exceptional example of something

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A wonder or wonderful thing.
  • n. An event or effect contrary to the established constitution and course of things, or a deviation from the known laws of nature; a supernatural event, or one transcending the ordinary laws by which the universe is governed.
  • n. A miracle play.
  • n. A story or legend abounding in miracles.
  • transitive v. To make wonderful.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A wonder, or a wonderful thing; something that excites admiration or astonishment.
  • n. An effect in nature not attributable to any of the recognized operations of nature nor to the act of man, but indicative of superhuman power, and serving as a sign or witness thereof; a wonderful work, manifesting a power superior to the ordinary forces of nature.
  • n. A miraculous story; a legend.
  • n. In the middle ages, one of a class of spectacles or dramatic representations exhibiting the lives of the saints or other sacred subjects; a miracle-play, somewhat resembling that still held at Oberammergau in Bavaria. Compare myatery, 4.
  • To work wonders or miracles.
  • To make wonderful.

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

  • n. a marvellous event manifesting a supernatural act of a divine agent
  • n. any amazing or wonderful occurrence

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin mīrāculum, from mīrārī, to wonder at, from mīrus, wonderful; see smei- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French miracle, from Latin mīrāculum ("object of wonder"), from mīror ("to wonder at"), from mīrus ("wonderful"), from Proto-Indo-European *smei-, *mei- (“to smile, to be astonished”). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • The Onion mocking the WordNet #1 sense: 'The holy and sacrosanct miracle of birth, long revered by human civilization as the most mysterious and magical of all phenomena, took place for what experts are estimating "must be at least the 83 billionth time" Tuesday with the successful delivery of eight-pound, four-ounce baby boy Darryl Brandon Severson at Holy Mary Mother Of God Hospital.'

    February 19, 2009

  • See this map for American pronunciation.

    April 10, 2008

  • "Unless somebody can pull a miracle out of the fire, Somerset are cruising into the semi-final." - Fred Trueman

    December 1, 2007