su·​per·​sti·​tion | \ ˌsü-pər-ˈsti-shən How to pronounce superstition (audio) \

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 Luke Mercier makes a day of it, keeping a diecast of his favorite driver with him during the races as a superstition. Michael Mccleary, The Indianapolis Star, "IndyStar asked whether IndyCar or NASCAR was better and you ripped us for it," 29 June 2020 Believing in things that cannot be touched and cannot be seen could be called faith or superstition. oregonlive, "Horoscope for June 26, 2020: Happy birthday Nick Offerman; Sagittarius, take what you deserve," 26 June 2020 Assimilation into one’s tribe required assimilation into the group’s ideological belief system – regardless of whether it was grounded in science or superstition. Adrian Bardon, Scientific American, "Coronavirus Responses Highlight How Humans Have Evolved to Dismiss Facts That Don’t Fit Their Worldview," 26 June 2020 The ghost lights, which burn in the Joan Sutherland Theatre, Drama Theatre, Playhouse, and Studio, are kept on partly for practical reasons, and also because of superstition. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, "Photos of the Week: Glass Cabins, Ghost Lights, Trumpet Mask," 8 May 2020 Apparently, some believe that Gilligan’s Island extended this superstition’s shelf life. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Sea Fever' Star Hermione Corfield on Sci-Fi Movie's Eerie Relevance," 9 Apr. 2020 In its first two seasons, The Orville dove into gender identity, addiction, bigotry, the pros and cons of social media, superstition versus rationality, and racial tensions and genocide, to name a few. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Go behind the scenes of The Orville as series embarks on a new season," 26 Mar. 2020 In a particularly odd nod to superstition, the Queen sewed flannel belts for the poor, promising that these useless talismans would provide immunity. Maurice Samuels, Time, "Conspiracy Theories, Class Tension, Political Intrigue: Lessons From France’s Mishandling of a 19th Century Cholera Outbreak," 15 May 2020 But Sando, who is probably more entitled to be a bean snob than anyone else on the planet, won’t judge you for adhering to superstition or not following his admittedly loose directions. Soleil Ho,, "Two new cookbooks on beans perfect for coronavirus shelter-in-place cooking," 17 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for superstition

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

10 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Superstition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce superstition (audio)

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 How to pronounce superstition (audio) \

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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