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mind over matter

Willpower can overcome physical obstacles, as in Margaret was determined to go to the wedding even on crutches—mind over matter. This idea was already expressed by Virgil in the Aeneid (c. 19 b.c.) as Mens agitat molem, “Mind moves matter,” and it appeared in various forms in English by 1700.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Examples from the Web for mind over matter
Historical Examples
  • Doesn't that weaken your argument of the power of mind over matter?

    The Tyranny of the Dark Hamlin Garland
  • This kingship of mind over matter may be a hard law but it is the law.

    The Root of Evil

    Thomas Dixon
  • There is something ennobling in the triumph of mind over matter.

  • In this question of mind over matter, the reformers have done their work.

    Mind and Body

    William Walker Atkinson
  • But it was the old story of the victory of mind over matter.

    The Story of the Crusades E. M. Wilmot-Buxton
  • It is a question of absolute belief in the domination of mind over matter.

    Now It Can Be Told Philip Gibbs
  • Here was illustrated the complete supremacy of mind over matter.

  • Study the battle as an allegory of the victory of mind over matter, of virtue over vice, of Protestantism over Romanism.

  • No doubt it was due to the superiority of mind over matter, for those out-laws were grossly material and matter-of-fact!

    Charlie to the Rescue R.M. Ballantyne
  • Merely to watch one of them dealing with a deck steward was to know for all time the superiority of mind over matter.

    Fanny Herself Edna Ferber

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