numinous

play
adjective nu·mi·nous \ˈnü-mə-nəs, ˈnyü-\

Definition of numinous

  1. 1 :  supernatural, mysterious

  2. 2 :  filled with a sense of the presence of divinity :  holy

  3. 3 :  appealing to the higher emotions or to the aesthetic sense :  spiritual

numinousness

play \ˈnü-mə-nəs-nəs, ˈnyü-\ noun

numinous was our Word of the Day on 07/28/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of numinous in a Sentence

  1. Her poetry is filled with a numinous beauty.

  2. some have sensed a numinous energy in the landscape around Sedona, Arizona

Did You Know?

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

Latin numin-, numen numen


NUMINOUS Defined for English Language Learners

numinous

play
adjective

Definition of numinous for English Language Learners

  • : having a mysterious, holy, or spiritual quality



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