su·​per·​sti·​tion | \ˌsü-pər-ˈsti-shən \

Definition of superstition 

1a : a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation

b : an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition

2 : a notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary

Examples of superstition in a Sentence

It is a common superstition that a black cat crossing your path is bad luck. tales of superstition, witchcraft, and magic

Recent Examples on the Web

Although grooms aren't supposed to see their brides in their wedding dresses ahead of the wedding, according to superstition, Prince Harry still had some say in Meghan Markle's bridal look. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry Helped Meghan Markle Choose Her Wedding Tiara with the Queen," 26 Oct. 2018 Edamaruku lives in exile in Finland because of his work fighting superstition. Seema Yasmin, SELF, "In Rural India, Protecting Women From Witch Hunting, and an Impending Flood," 17 Aug. 2018 Any superstition was thrown out the window as Justify became the 13th horse to win a Triple Crown, joining Baffert’s American Pharoah. Andrew J. Campa,, "Lucky 13th Triple Crown had by Baffert's Justify," 10 June 2018 These false associations are especially harmful (and pointless) if the superstition has nothing to do with the mechanics of the sport — the difference between taping an ankle a certain way and wearing a lucky sock. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "Superstitions are supersized for Justify's Triple Crown run," 4 June 2018 Luck and superstition, however, do not replace skill and effort in O'Connor's model. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville City FC keeps passing the tests in its U.S. Open Cup run," 21 June 2018 Superstition also almost prevented us from ordering Huevos Rancheros because the breakfast dish might bring good luck to Mexico (that superstition was rejected). Ann Killion,, "World Cup double-bill: Mexico ousted by Brazil, but the best game came later," 2 July 2018 From a creative standpoint, Upgrade is intriguing enough to warrant a sequel, though superstition prevents Whannell from dreaming of such things before a movie comes out. Aaron Couch, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Upgrade' Director Leigh Whannell on Box Office Pressures and Visiting 'Aquaman' Set," 1 June 2018 The Derby is an event rife with superstition, and there’s no better example than Apollo, the 1882 champion and the last horse to win after not running as a 2-year-old. Childs Walker,, "Kentucky Derby 2018: five storylines," 27 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'superstition.' 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 superstition

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for superstition

Middle English supersticion, from Anglo-French, from Latin superstition-, superstitio, from superstit-, superstes standing over (as witness or survivor), from super- + stare to stand — more at stand

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Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for superstition

The first known use of superstition was in the 13th century

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English Language Learners Definition of superstition

: a belief or way of behaving that is based on fear of the unknown and faith in magic or luck : a belief that certain events or things will bring good or bad luck


su·​per·​sti·​tion | \ˌsü-pər-ˈsti-shən \

Kids Definition of superstition

: a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, or trust in magic or chance It's a superstition that the number 13 is unlucky.

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by force of circumstances

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