[ met-uh-fiz-i-kuh l ]
/ ˌmɛt əˈfɪz ɪ kəl /


pertaining to or of the nature of metaphysics.
  1. concerned with abstract thought or subjects, as existence, causality, or truth.
  2. concerned with first principles and ultimate grounds, as being, time, or substance.
highly abstract, subtle, or abstruse.
designating or pertaining to the poetry of an early group of 17th-century English poets, notably John Donne, whose characteristic style is highly intellectual and philosophical and features intensive use of ingenious conceits and turns of wit.
Archaic. imaginary or fanciful.


Fend Off Sciolism With This Word Of The Day Quiz
Are you the Cinderella of this week’s quiz? Test your memory on the words and definitions from March 23–29.
Question 1 of 7

Origin of metaphysical

1375–1425; late Middle English metaphisicalle < Medieval Latin metaphysicālis. See metaphysic, -al1

OTHER WORDS FROM metaphysical Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for metaphysical

British Dictionary definitions for metaphysical (1 of 2)

/ (ˌmɛtəˈfɪzɪkəl) /


relating to or concerned with metaphysics
(of a statement or theory) having the form of an empirical hypothesis, but in fact immune from empirical testing and therefore (in the view of the logical positivists) literally meaningless
(popularly) abstract, abstruse, or unduly theoretical
incorporeal; supernatural

Derived forms of metaphysical

metaphysically, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for metaphysical (2 of 2)

/ (ˌmɛtəˈfɪzɪkəl) /


denoting or relating to certain 17th-century poets who combined intense feeling with ingenious thought and often used elaborate imagery and conceits. Notable among them were Donne, Herbert, and Marvell


a poet of this group
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012