meta·​phys·​i·​cal | \ ˌme-tə-ˈfi-zi-kəl How to pronounce metaphysical (audio) \

Definition of metaphysical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to metaphysics metaphysical truth metaphysical speculation
2a : of or relating to the transcendent (see transcendent sense 1) or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses fleeing from experience to a metaphysical realm— John Dewey
b : supernatural fate and metaphysical aid doth seem to have thee crown'd— William Shakespeare
3 : highly abstract or abstruse also : theoretical metaphysical reasoning
4 often capitalized : of or relating to poetry especially of the early 17th century that is highly intellectual and philosophical and marked by unconventional figurative language metaphysical poets



Definition of Metaphysical (Entry 2 of 2)

: a metaphysical poet of the 17th century

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Other Words from metaphysical


metaphysically \ ˌme-​tə-​ˈfi-​zi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce metaphysically (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for metaphysical

Synonyms: Adjective

abstract, conceptual, ideal, ideational, notional, theoretical (also theoretic)

Antonyms: Adjective

concrete, nonabstract

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Examples of metaphysical in a Sentence


a metaphysical world of spirits a work that deals with such metaphysical questions as the very nature of knowledge

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Muschietti is certainly a gifted visualist, lending poignancy to an engaging first act with dreamlike segues that pierce the metaphysical veil and tighten the cosmic tapestry that unites the Losers. Jen Yamatostaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Overlong ‘It Chapter Two’ confronts scarier evils than Pennywise the clown," 3 Sep. 2019 Can incorporating the metaphysical help your miserable L.A. commute? Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Orange County officially has more Democrats than Republicans," 8 Aug. 2019 Guests scatter fearing another metaphysical bombardment. Ron Grossman,, "Collecting facts is an addiction — did you know that?," 19 July 2019 Concrete and qualified, but even the first word invites intense political, social, economic, and metaphysical debate. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "A Global Pollution Observatory Hunts for Hidden Killers," 8 July 2019 The Den is a major supporter of the Witch Walk, a monthly vendor fair for metaphysical products and services. Hillary Davis, Daily Pilot, "Gypsy Den café changes its name out of respect for Romani people, who find ‘G-word’ offensive," 26 July 2019 Featuring rocks and minerals, gems, jewelry and metaphysical arts. Lisa Herendeen, The Mercury News, "S.F. Bay Area calendar: Beauty and the Beast Jr., jazz and more," 22 July 2019 The book drew from older traditions like Christian Science and New Thought, a related 19th-century metaphysical movement. Sam Kestenbaum, New York Times, "The Curious Mystical Text Behind Marianne Williamson’s Presidential Bid," 5 July 2019 The Florida Man meme, which, like all memes, survives its progenitor’s retirement, was quick to turn up a metaphysical quandary: is Florida actually weirder than the rest of America? Chris Wilson, Time, "Florida Man or Not Florida Man? Guess Which of These Stories Happened in Florida," 26 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'metaphysical.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of metaphysical


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1887, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for metaphysical

Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for metaphysical

The first known use of metaphysical was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of metaphysical

: of, relating to, or based on metaphysics
: of or relating to things that are thought to exist but that cannot be seen

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Comments on metaphysical

What made you want to look up metaphysical? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealment of treason or felony

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