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preternatural

[pree-ter-nach-er-uhl, -nach-ruhl]
adjective
  1. out of the ordinary course of nature; exceptional or abnormal: preternatural powers.
  2. outside of nature; supernatural.
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Origin of preternatural

1570–80; < Medieval Latin praeternātūrālis, adj. based on Latin phrase praeter nātūram beyond nature. See preter-, natural
Related formspre·ter·nat·u·ral·ism, pre·ter·nat·u·ral·i·ty [pree-ter-nach-uh-ral-i-tee] /ˌpri tərˌnætʃ əˈræl ɪ ti/, pre·ter·nat·u·ral·ness, nounpre·ter·nat·u·ral·ly, adverbun·pre·ter·nat·u·ral, adjectiveun·pre·ter·nat·u·ral·ly, adverb

Synonyms

Antonyms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for preternaturally

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Natt's drowsy eyes were preternaturally bright at that great moment.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • She was very pale, and her eyes were dilating and preternaturally bright.

  • But when he stirred, her eyes were wide and preternaturally bright, and held him.

    The Dop Doctor

    Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

  • She was small and slight for her twelve years, and preternaturally grave.

  • How preternaturally still every thing seemed—what an intensity of silence!

    The Island Home

    Richard Archer


British Dictionary definitions for preternaturally

preternatural

adjective
  1. beyond what is ordinarily found in nature; abnormal
  2. another word for supernatural
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Derived Formspreternaturally, adverbpreternaturalism, nounpreternaturalness or preternaturality, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Medieval Latin praeternātūrālis, from Latin praeter natūram beyond the scope of nature
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

Word Origin and History for preternaturally

preternatural

adj.

1570s, from Medieval Latin preternaturalis (mid-13c.), from Latin phrase praeter naturam (praeterque fatum) "beyond nature (and beyond fate)," from praeter "beyond" (see preterite) + accusative of natura "nature" (see natural).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper