Definition: Supernatural

From New World Encyclopedia


From Middle English supernatural, supernaturel, from Middle French supernaturel, from Latin supernātūrālis, from super (above) + nātūra (nature, that which we are born with), from nātus (born), perfect passive participle of nāscī (to be born) + adjective suffix -ālis. By surface analysis, super- + natural.


supernatural (comparative more supernatural, superlative most supernatural)

  1. Above nature; beyond or added to nature, often so considered because it is given by a deity or some force beyond that which humans are born with.
    In Catholic theology, sanctifying grace is considered to be a supernatural addition to human nature.
    Stephen King's first novel is about a girl named Carrie dealing with supernatural powers.
  2. Not of the usual; not natural; altered by forces that are not understood fully if at all.
    The house is haunted by supernatural forces.

Derived terms

  • supernatural selection


supernatural (plural supernaturals)

  1. (countable) A supernatural being
  2. (uncountable) Supernatural beings and events collectively (when used with definite article: "the supernatural.")


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