Definition of preternatural
preternaturallyplay \-ˈna-chə-rə-lē, ˈnach-rə-, ˈna-chər-\ adverb
preternaturalnessplay \-ˈna-chə-rəl-nəs, -ˈnach-rəl-\ noun
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Examples of preternatural in a Sentence
She has a preternatural ability to charm people.
There was a preternatural quiet in the house.
Recent Examples of preternatural from the Web
That the brothers are now poised to emerge from the Carwash scandal without facing any criminal charges is a testament to their near-preternatural acumen for bargaining.
Ms. Dunst, who conveys a preternatural old-soul melancholy onscreen, has gone light and dark over her nearly three decades in movies.
Blomkamp’s preternatural calm belies his rough first encounter with Hollywood.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'preternatural'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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: 1580See Words from the same year
PRETERNATURAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of preternatural for English Language Learners
: very unusual in a way that does not seem natural
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