metaphysical

adjective
meta·​phys·​i·​cal | \ -ˈfi-zi-kəl \

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

Metaphysical

noun

Definition of Metaphysical (Entry 2 of 2)

: a metaphysical poet of the 17th century

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Other Words from metaphysical

Adjective

metaphysically \ -​k(ə-​)lē \ 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

Adjective

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

Williamson moved to Los Angeles in 1983 and began teaching the works of A Course In Miracles at Philosophical Research Society, a center for metaphysical study. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "Who Is Marianne Williamson, 2020 Presidential Candidate and Also Oprah's Spiritual Advisor?," 8 Feb. 2019 Continue further along Main street and end your weekend with a stop at the witchy Awareness Shop, New Paltz’s one-stop destination for all things spiritual and metaphysical. Lily Kupets, Vogue, "A Winter Weekend Destination You’ve Likely Overlooked: New Paltz, New York," 28 Dec. 2018 Even in death, the pleasures of confounding one’s enemies may be delicious—metaphysical. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "Did Chivalry Go Down With the Titanic?," 14 Dec. 2018 Garden leave agreements pay former employees to spend time in their literal or metaphysical garden for a few months before taking a new job, to make sure that the new employer can't gain an unfair advantage from the use of proprietary information. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Massachusetts gives workers new protections against noncompete clauses," 21 Aug. 2018 The rules have prompted head-scratching among Chinese eaters, and even some metaphysical speculation about what makes a jianbing in the first place. New York Times, "As Chinese ‘Crepe’ Catches On Abroad, a Fight to Preserve Its Soul," 29 May 2018 This introduces a certain metaphysical element, as do Stone's meditations on his purpose in life. Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "Clint Eastwood finds his inner Eric Rohmer with The 15:17 to Paris.," 9 Feb. 2018 The paintings, and their almost psychedelic palette, are as fleshlike and physical as O’Keeffe’s New Mexican work is stripped and metaphysical. New York Times, "23 Art Exhibitions to View in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 12 July 2018 When the departed are temporarily allowed into the land of the living during the Day of the Dead, Miguel finds himself between both metaphysical worlds, on a journey to uncover his musical potential and familial roots. Sara Aridi, New York Times, "What’s on TV Tuesday: ‘Coco’ and ‘The Bachelor Winter Games’," 13 Feb. 2018

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

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1887, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for metaphysical

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

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More Definitions for metaphysical

metaphysical

adjective

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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