numinous was our Word of the Day on 07/28/2016. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of numinous in a Sentence
Her poetry is filled with a numinous beauty.
some have sensed a numinous energy in the landscape around Sedona, Arizona
Recent Examples of numinous from the Web
There’s a place among the numinous for the right kind of mortal, and Rupert makes a tentative, if ugly, living here and on the edges of Kuala Lumpur’s underworld.
Closer in spirit to the work of the naturalist Rick Bass than to the hard-drinking tales of Caroline Knapp or Augusten Burroughs, the book becomes a personal travelogue of the Orkneys, their numinous geology and mystical history.
The music demonstrated Byrne’s facility in different genres, and included elements of pop, jazz, and reggae, though Timbers likened its predominant mood to the numinous Nordic rock of the band Sigur Rós.
His desire is to show the ever-so-slightly numinous in the ordinary.
Simon McBurney’s hypnotic, sui generis performance piece — which recreates an American photographer’s numinous visit to the Amazon River Basin — hooks its audience by the ears.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'numinous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
numinous and Supernatural
Numinous is from the Latin word numen, meaning "divine will" or "nod" (it suggests a figurative nodding, of assent or of command, of the divine head). English speakers have been using numen for centuries with the meaning "a spiritual force or influence." We began using numinous in the mid-1600s, subsequently endowing it with several senses: "supernatural" or "mysterious" (as in "possessed of a numinous energy force"), "holy" (as in "the numinous atmosphere of the catacombs"), and "appealing to the aesthetic sense" (as in "the numinous nuances of her art"). We also created the nouns numinousness and numinosity, although these are rare.
Origin and Etymology of numinous
First Known Use: 1647See Words from the same year
Synonymsmagic, magical, mystic, occult, weird
Related Wordsbewitched, enchanted, spellbound; bewitching, charming, conjuring, enchanting, wiling; amazing, astonishing, astounding, awesome, extraordinary, fabulous, marvelous (or marvellous), miraculous, portentous, stunning, stupendous, sublime, wondrous; divining, forecasting, foreknowing, foreseeing, foretelling, fortune-telling, predicting, presaging, prognosticating, prophesying, soothsaying; metaphysical, preternatural, unearthly; paranormal, supernormal
Near Antonymscommonplace, everyday, normal, ordinary, prosaic, routine, run-of-the-mill, unexceptional, unremarkable, usual, workaday
NUMINOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of numinous for English Language Learners
: having a mysterious, holy, or spiritual quality
Seen and Heard
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