su·​per·​ja·​cent ˌsü-pər-ˈjā-sᵊnt How to pronounce superjacent (audio)
: lying above or upon : overlying
superjacent rocks

Did you know?

You're probably familiar with adjacent, and if you guessed that it's a relative of superjacent, you're right. Both derive from the Latin verb jacēre, meaning "to lie." Adjacent, which is both the more popular and the earlier word (it first appeared in print in the 15th century, while superjacent turned up in the late 16th century), comes from jacēre and the prefix ad-, meaning "near." Superjacent, on the other hand, was formed by combining jacēre with the prefix super-, meaning "over," "above," or "on top of." In case you were wondering, jacēre descendants are also available for other possible configurations: subjacent means "lying below," and circumjacent means "lying near on all sides" or "surrounding."

Word History


Latin superjacent-, superjacens, present participle of superjacēre to lie over or upon, from super- + jacēre to lie; akin to Latin jacere to throw — more at jet

First Known Use

1578, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of superjacent was in 1578


Dictionary Entries Near superjacent

Cite this Entry

“Superjacent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

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