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

Stages of plague For hundreds of years, what caused plague outbreaks remained mysterious, and shrouded in superstitions. Jenny Howard, National Geographic, "Plague, explained," 20 Aug. 2019 The fugue of religion and superstition sounds over these mise en scènes. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "A Young Artist Charts the Journey from “Haiti to Hood”," 8 Aug. 2019 Myth, magic and superstition are inextricably intertwined with everyday verities, a technique that caused Morrison’s novels to be likened often to those of Latin American magic realist writers like Gabriel García Márquez. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Toni Morrison, ‘Beloved’ author and nobel laureate, dies at 88," 6 Aug. 2019 Humans aren’t perfectly rational thinkers, so conspiracy theories — and their bedfellows, superstitions — aren’t anything new. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Social media depends on engaging content. Conspiracy theories are engaging. This problem isn’t going away.," 13 Aug. 2019 China has a habit of banning films, usually foreign ones considered violent, vulgar, or promoting superstition. Echo Huang, Quartzy, "China’s censorship is sinking its own movie market," 17 July 2019 Religious superstition and a malleable view of Christianity (which mostly just enabled a continuing terror of any outsiders) reigned, despite the fact that the lower classes of priests were also illiterate, and therefore could not read the Bible. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Notre Dame Is a Cruel Metaphor for Our World Right Now," 25 Apr. 2019 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 But Verdù believes careful research will ultimately break through the superstitions. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "What’s really behind ‘gluten sensitivity’?," 23 May 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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Statistics for superstition

Last Updated

7 Sep 2019

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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 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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to make a temporary encampment

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