metaphysics

[ met-uh-fiz-iks ]
/ ˌmɛt əˈfɪz ɪks /

noun (used with a singular verb)

the branch of philosophy that treats of first principles, includes ontology and cosmology, and is intimately connected with epistemology.
philosophy, especially in its more abstruse branches.
the underlying theoretical principles of a subject or field of inquiry.
(initial capital letter, italics) a treatise (4th century b.c.) by Aristotle, dealing with first principles, the relation of universals to particulars, and the teleological doctrine of causation.

QUIZZES

CAN YOU GUESS THESE WORDS FROM AROUND THE US?

American English is not always as it appears to be ... get to know regional words in this quiz!
Question 1 of 10
A bet is synonymous with a wager, but what does it mean in New York?

Origin of metaphysics

1560–70; <Medieval Latin metaphysica<Medieval Greek () metaphysiká (neuter plural), Greek tà metà tà physiká the (works) after the Physics; with reference to the arrangement of Aristotle's writings
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for metaphysics

British Dictionary definitions for metaphysics

metaphysics
/ (ˌmɛtəˈfɪzɪks) /

noun (functioning as singular)

the branch of philosophy that deals with first principles, esp of being and knowing
the philosophical study of the nature of reality, concerned with such questions as the existence of God, the external world, etc
(popularly) abstract or subtle discussion or reasoning

Derived forms of metaphysics

metaphysician (ˌmɛtəfɪˈzɪʃən) or metaphysicist (ˌmɛtəˈfɪzɪsɪst), noun

Word Origin for metaphysics

C16: from Medieval Latin, from Greek ta meta ta phusika the things after the physics, from the arrangement of the subjects treated in the works of Aristotle
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

Cultural definitions for metaphysics

metaphysics

The field in philosophy that studies ultimate questions, such as whether every event has a cause and what things are genuinely real.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.