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preternatural

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adjective pre·ter·nat·u·ral \ˌprē-tər-ˈna-chə-rəl, -ˈnach-rəl\

Simple Definition of preternatural

  • : very unusual in a way that does not seem natural

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of preternatural

  1. 1 :  existing outside of nature

  2. 2 :  exceeding what is natural or regular :  extraordinary <wits trained to preternatural acuteness by the debates — G. L. Dickinson>

  3. 3 :  inexplicable by ordinary means; especially :  psychic <preternatural phenomena>

preternaturally

play \-ˈna-chə-rə-lē, ˈnach-rə-, ˈna-chər-\ adverb

preternaturalness

play \-ˈna-chə-rəl-nəs, -ˈnach-rəl-\ noun

Examples of preternatural in a sentence

  1. She has a preternatural ability to charm people.

  2. There was a preternatural quiet in the house.



Did You Know?

Preternatural derives from the Latin praeter naturam, which means "beyond nature." In the 1200s, Medieval Latin scholars rendered the term as "praeternaturalis," and that form inspired the modern English version. Unusual things are sometimes considered positive and sometimes negative, and throughout its history "preternatural" has been used to refer to both exceptionally good things and unnaturally evil ones. In its earliest documented uses in the 1500s, it tended to emphasize the strange, ominous, or foreboding, but by the 1700s, people were using it more benignly to refer to fascinating supernatural (or even heavenly) phenomena. Nowadays, people even use it to describe the remarkable abilities of exceptional humans.

Origin and Etymology of preternatural

Medieval Latin praeternaturalis, from Latin praeter naturam beyond nature


First Known Use: 1580

Rhymes with preternatural


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