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 Isolated superstition or fanaticism alone did not motivate this violence. Peter Keough,, "Doc Talk: Pilgrims of several sorts, Hindu nationalism, life in Lodz then and now," 17 Mar. 2021 Romulus lost, and wearing a suit became a superstition for the young coach. Mike Rodak |, al, "NCAA tournament was once classroom math lesson for Nate Oats," 19 Mar. 2021 On Friday the 13th, the market made a mockery of superstition with all three major indices jumping by more than 9 percent each, but those gains came during a week of eye-watering volatility that presaged the turmoil to come. NBC News, "Black Monday: A year after historic market rout, Wall Street reflects on what it got right — and wrong," 16 Mar. 2021 That is how, in the crucible of rational criticism, superstition and moral error are burned away. Samantha Harris, National Review, "Critical Race Theory Is Dangerous. Here’s How to Fight It," 13 Mar. 2021 Reason and logic, channeled through the minds of the likes of Isaac Newton, Galileo, John Locke, Gottfried Leibniz, and others, vied for the space previously occupied by superstition and religion. Henry Dacosta, Scientific American, "In the Path of Halley’s Comet, Humanity Might Find Its Way Forward," 10 Mar. 2021 When adhering to a superstition or falling for a placebo, who is fooling whom? Matthew Hutson, WSJ, "‘Useful Delusions’ Review: The Liar in the Mirror," 2 Mar. 2021 And so beings the lore of the elephant tie, the one exception to the superstition rule in a program that prefers to liken its Cinderella status to the more tangible. Kevin Reynolds, Dallas News, "The lore of the elephant tie: Frisco Liberty’s recent playoff runs have been filled with high drama — and a little superstition," 1 Mar. 2021 That’s tough to pinpoint, but much of the answer has to do with symbolism and superstition. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "Eating for luck on New Year's: Why foods from black-eyed peas to grapes promise prosperity," 1 Jan. 2021

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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Statistics for superstition

Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Superstition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for superstition



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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