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.

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anchorite
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.