supernatural

supernatural
supernatural, supranatural, preternatural, miraculous, superhuman are overlapping rather than strictly synonymous terms whose meanings all involve a contrast with what is natural or, sometimes, normal or predictable. All, with the possible exception of the uncommon supranatural, are used hyperbolically to mean exceeding usual or likely human standards and then are generally equivalent to such terms as extraordinary, exceptional, or wonderful; thus, in an emergency a man may exhibit supernatural strength; one may show preternatural awareness of small sounds when alone at night; a scholar may decipher a manuscript with miraculous accuracy ; a player may win against odds by a superhuman effort.
Supernatural stresses deviation from the natural that is felt as above or beyond what is observable and capable of being experienced by ordinary means; in much of its use it suggests spirituality and implies a relation to God or to divine powers
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a supernatural religion

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the gods in Homer do exert supernatural effects; for when Zeus nods, all Olympus shakes— Noss

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medieval theologians who did so much to establish and define the terminology of Christianity spoke of man's supernatural life, the life of the soul above the natural life of the body— M. W. Baldwin

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the belief in a supernatural power, in God, was natural to him who felt that he could plow and plant, but that only God made his work produce grain and fruit— Wood

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but sometimes the word loses these suggestions and implications and can then denote more or less neutrally a transcending of the natural and comprehensible or known
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not to him, as to us, a world . . . mapped, botanized, zoologized; a tiny planet about which everybody knows, or thinks they know everything: but a world infinite, magical, supernatural—because unknown— Kingsley

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richer, warmer, more vibrant with love and yearning and compassion, a wonderful, mysterious, supernatural Voice spoke from above their heads— Huxley

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or it can apply to things commonly felt as matters of superstition rather than of divine spirituality and then often carries a depreciatory note
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books that describe fraudulent production of supernatural phenomena— G. R. Price

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his Northmen kept away from Amneran Heath and Morven, on account of the supernatural beings you were always apt to encounter thereabouts— Cabell

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going without a companion, he had taken my revolver to preserve him from dangers—meaning those of a supernatural kind— Hudson

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Supranatural implies a transcending of what is natural and especially of what is comprehensible or capable of becoming comprehensible; it is likely to be chosen when the theistic connotations of supernatural are to be avoided
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the supernatural phenomena investigated by parapsychologists

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a mystic who resorts to supranatural explanations for two of history's greatest riddles— Werner

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Preternatural applies chiefly to what is not regarded as natural or being within the usual range or compass of nature. Usually the term means abnormal or strange and inexplicable to an extreme or startling degree
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a degree of acumen which appears to the ordinary apprehension preternaturalPoe

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the preternatural prowess of the hero— Emerson

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preserved the preternatural neatness of a man who is often tempted and deeply familiar with sloth— Cheever

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Miraculous applies particularly to events or effects in the physical world that are out of the ordinary course of things or that deviate from the known laws of nature either in kind or degree
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the plant, his hope, which he had deemed dead, blossomed with miraculous suddenness— Bennett

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for the last two years he was like a flame burning on in miraculous disregard of the fact that there was no more fuel to justify its existence— Huxley

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In its also common religious use miraculous applies to what is regarded or accepted as performed by divine power or happening as a result of divine intervention
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the medical man's way of saying that, short of miraculous intervention, you may as well order the coffin— Sayers

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the miraculous transformation of water into wine at the wedding in Cana

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miraculous cures attributed to a saint

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Superhuman is sometimes used in the sense of supernatural but in this use it tends to stress the notion of being higher than mankind or sometimes than average or ordinary man-kind and it does not carry a clear implication of divinity as supernatural often does
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superstitious belief in superhuman agency— Mozley

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if a man believes that he is a superhuman servant of a living god it is not difficult to persuade him that he has a right to . . . make use of the toil of his merely human neighbor— Floyd Taylor

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you can't expect me to be superhuman like you. If you can forgive everything, that's your good luck— Bellow

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Analogous words: divine, spiritual, sacred, *holy, blessed: *infinite, eternal, boundless, illimitable

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Синонимы:

См. также в других словарях:

  • Supernatural — Su per*nat u*ral, a. [Pref. super + natural: cf. OF. supernaturel, F. surnaturel.] Being beyond, or exceeding, the power or laws of nature; miraculous. [1913 Webster] Syn: Preternatural. Usage: {Supernatural}, {Preternatural}. Preternatural… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Supernatural — «Supernatural» puede referirse a: Contenido 1 Significado 2 Música 3 Cine y televisión 4 Véase también Significado …   Wikipedia Español

  • supernatural — [so͞o΄pər nach′ər əl] adj. [ML supernaturalis: see SUPER & NATURAL] 1. existing or occurring outside the normal experience or knowledge of man; not explainable by the known forces or laws of nature; specif., of, involving, or attributed to God or …   English World dictionary

  • supernatural — ► ADJECTIVE 1) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature. 2) exceptionally or extraordinarily great. ► NOUN (the supernatural) ▪ supernatural manifestations or events. DERIVATIVES supernaturally adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • supernatural — index mysterious, peculiar (curious), uncanny Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • Supernatural — es un album muy importante de Santana …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • supernatural — supernaturál, supernaturálă, adj. (înv.) supranatural. Trimis de blaurb, 14.11.2008. Sursa: DAR …   Dicționar Român

  • supernatural — [adj] mysterious, not of this world abnormal, celestial, concealed, dark, fabulous, fairy, ghostly, heavenly, hidden, impenetrable, invisible, legendary, metaphysical, miraculous, mystic, mythical, mythological, numinous, obscure, occult,… …   New thesaurus

  • Supernatural — Not to be confused with Paranormal or Preternatural. For other uses, see Supernatural (disambiguation). The supernatural or supranatural (Latin: super, supra above + natura nature ) is that which is not subject to the laws of nature, or more …   Wikipedia

  • Supernatural — Seriendaten Deutscher Titel Supernatural …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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