meta·​phys·​i·​cal | \ ˌme-tə-ˈfi-zi-kəl How to pronounce metaphysical (audio) \

Definition of metaphysical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to metaphysics metaphysical truth metaphysical speculation
2a : of or relating to the transcendent (see transcendent sense 1) or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses fleeing from experience to a metaphysical realm— John Dewey
b : supernatural fate and metaphysical aid doth seem to have thee crown'd— William Shakespeare
3 : highly abstract or abstruse also : theoretical metaphysical reasoning
4 often capitalized : of or relating to poetry especially of the early 17th century that is highly intellectual and philosophical and marked by unconventional figurative language metaphysical poets



Definition of Metaphysical (Entry 2 of 2)

: a metaphysical poet of the 17th century

Other Words from metaphysical


metaphysically \ ˌme-​tə-​ˈfi-​zi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce Metaphysical (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for metaphysical

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of metaphysical in a Sentence

Adjective a metaphysical world of spirits a work that deals with such metaphysical questions as the very nature of knowledge
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But an element of narrative fantasy indebted to the philosophical fictions of Jorge Luis Borges situates these reminiscences into broader metaphysical investigations. Sam Sacks, WSJ, 6 May 2022 The face-off suggests a metaphysical confrontation; elsewhere, though, are hints of a spiritual continuity that sectarian labels belie. Julian Lucas, The New Yorker, 4 May 2022 Beneath those metaphysical concerns, Dana also harbors a secret motive, which becomes the incarnation of this book. Washington Post, 3 May 2022 This metaphysical tradition gets picked up today by the Portuguese-British pastelist Paula Rego, who emerges as a star of this Biennale with an entire gallery of her fraught scenes of domestic violence, where love and fear make humans act like dogs. New York Times, 30 Apr. 2022 Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss stars in this metaphysical thriller which is based on the best-selling novel of the same name. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, 24 Apr. 2022 Typical of the 57-year-old Drexler, whose songwriting has been driven by the artist’s metaphysical meditations and humanistic observations, each song tells a story set somewhere in the balance between serendipity and intention. Judy Cantor-navas, Billboard, 20 Apr. 2022 What’s on my mind in this moment is that Russian Doll is essentially a series about some sort of answers, about opening up philosophical and metaphysical questions and answering some of those questions. Jackie Strause, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Apr. 2022 Sequels, what a concept! Russian Doll season 2 just dropped on Netflix, but already fans are wondering if there are more metaphysical adventures in store for Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) and Alan (Charlie Barnett). Lauren Huff,, 21 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'metaphysical.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of metaphysical


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1887, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of metaphysical was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Metaphysical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of metaphysical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of metaphysical for Arabic Speakers


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