supernatural

Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of or relating to existence outside the natural world.
  • adjective Attributed to a power that seems to violate or go beyond natural forces.
  • adjective Of or relating to a deity.
  • adjective Of or relating to the immediate exercise of divine power; miraculous.
  • adjective Of or relating to the miraculous.
  • noun That which is supernatural.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A supernatural being; a deity.
  • Being beyond or exceeding the powers or laws of nature; not occurring, done, bestowed, etc., through the operation of merely physical laws, but by an agency above and separate from these.
  • Of or pertaining to that which is above or beyond nature.
  • Synonyms Supernatural, Miraculous, Preternatural, Superhuman, Unnatural, Extra-natural. That which is supernatural is above nature; that which is preternatural or extra-natural is outside of nature; that which is unnatural is contrary to nature, but not necessarily impossible. Supernatural is freely applicable to persons: as, supernatural visitants; preternatural sometimes; unnatural only in another sense. Supernatural is applied to beings, properties, powers, acts, in the realms of being recognized as higher than man's. In the following extract supernatural is used in the sense ordinarily expressed by extra-natural or miraculous.
  • The raising of the dead to life would be miraculous, because, if brought about by a law of nature, it would be by a law outside of and above any that are known to man, and perhaps overruling some law or laws of nature. Preternatural is used especially to note that which might have been a work of nature, but is not. That which is superhuman is above the nature or powers of man. Superhuman is often used by hyperbole to note that which is very remarkable in man: as, he exhibited superhuman strength; the other words may be similarly used in a lower sense.
  • noun That which is above or beyond the established course or laws of nature; something transcending nature; supernatural agencies, influence, phenomena, etc.: with the definite article.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Being beyond, or exceeding, the power or laws of nature; miraculous.
  • adjective whatever is above and beyond the scope, or the established course, of the laws of nature.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Above nature; that which is beyond or added to nature, often so considered because it is given by God or some force beyond that which humans are born with. In Roman Catholic theology, sanctifying grace is considered to be a supernatural addition to human nature.
  • adjective Not of the usual; not natural; altered by forces that are not understood fully if at all.
  • adjective Neither visible nor measurable.
  • noun countable A supernatural being.
  • noun uncountable Supernatural beings and events collectively. (When used with definite article: "the supernatural".)

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

  • noun supernatural forces and events and beings collectively
  • adjective not existing in nature or subject to explanation according to natural laws; not physical or material

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin supernaturalis, from super ("above") + natura ("nature; that which we are born with"), from natus ("born"), perfect passive participle of nasci ("to be born") + adjective suffix -alis.

Examples

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