[soo-per-nach-er-uh l, -nach-ruh l]
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  1. of, relating to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal.
  2. of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or attributed to God or a deity.
  3. of a superlative degree; preternatural: a missile of supernatural speed.
  4. of, relating to, or attributed to ghosts, goblins, or other unearthly beings; eerie; occult.
  1. a being, place, object, occurrence, etc., considered as supernatural or of supernatural origin; that which is supernatural, or outside the natural order.
  2. behavior supposedly caused by the intervention of supernatural beings.
  3. direct influence or action of a deity on earthly affairs.
  4. the supernatural,
    1. supernatural beings, behavior, and occurrences collectively.
    2. supernatural forces and the supernatural plane of existence: a deep fear of the supernatural.

Origin of supernatural

From the Medieval Latin word supernātūrālis, dating back to 1520–30. See super-, natural
Related formssu·per·nat·u·ral·ly, adverbsu·per·nat·u·ral·ness, nounan·ti·su·per·nat·ur·al, adjective, nounsem·i·su·per·nat·u·ral, adjectivesem·i·su·per·nat·u·ral·ly, adverbsem·i·su·per·nat·u·ral·ness, nounun·su·per·nat·u·ral, adjectiveun·su·per·nat·u·ral·ly, adverbun·su·per·nat·u·ral·ness, noun

Synonyms for supernatural

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1. See miraculous. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for supernatural

Contemporary Examples of supernatural

Historical Examples of supernatural

  • You might often believe in supernatural occurrences if it were not for the witnesses.

    Questionable Shapes

    William Dean Howells

  • In the classes above them the supernatural has been slain by the supercilious.

    Alarms and Discursions

    G. K. Chesterton

  • Certainly, many of the workings of Nature are wonderful, but they are not supernatural.

  • With respect to the supernatural scenes I have beheld, the question is more difficult.


    William Godwin

  • It could not have been that his 'foreknowledge' was supernatural.

    Homeward Bound

    James Fenimore Cooper

British Dictionary definitions for supernatural


  1. of or relating to things that cannot be explained according to natural laws
  2. characteristic of or caused by or as if by a god; miraculous
  3. of, involving, or ascribed to occult beings
  4. exceeding the ordinary; abnormal
  1. the supernatural supernatural forces, occurrences, and beings collectively or their realm
Derived Formssupernaturally, adverbsupernaturalness, noun
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 supernatural

early 15c. "above nature, transcending nature, belonging to a higher realm," from Medieval Latin supernaturalis "above or beyond nature," from Latin super "above" (see super-) + natura "nature" (see nature). Originally with more of a religious sense, "of or given by God, divine; heavenly;" association with ghosts, etc., has predominated since c.1799.


1580s, from supernatural (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper