[soo-per-stish-uh n]
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  1. a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.
  2. a system or collection of such beliefs.
  3. a custom or act based on such a belief.
  4. irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, especially in connection with religion.
  5. any blindly accepted belief or notion.

Origin of superstition

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin superstitiōn- (stem of superstitiō), equivalent to superstit- (stem of superstes) standing beyond, outliving (super- super- + -stit-, combining form of stat-, adj. derivative of stāre to stand) + -iōn- -ion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for superstition

fear, irrationality, notion, shibboleth

Examples from the Web for superstition

Contemporary Examples of superstition

Historical Examples of superstition

British Dictionary definitions for superstition


  1. irrational belief usually founded on ignorance or fear and characterized by obsessive reverence for omens, charms, etc
  2. a notion, act or ritual that derives from such belief
  3. any irrational belief, esp with regard to the unknown

Word Origin for superstition

C15: from Latin superstitiō dread of the supernatural, from superstāre to stand still by something (as in amazement)
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 superstition

early 13c., from Old French superstition or directly from Latin superstitionem (nominative superstitio), noun of action from superstare (see superstitious). Originally especially of religion; sense of "unreasonable notion" is from 1794.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper