Share this entry

Share this page

metaphysical

Line breaks: meta|phys¦ic¦al
Pronunciation: /mɛtəˈfɪzɪk(ə)l
 
/

Definition of metaphysical in English:

adjective

1Relating to metaphysics: the essentially metaphysical question of the nature of mind
More example sentences
  • It begins to appear that the metaphysical question of determinism is quite irrelevant to the rationality of our ascription of responsibility.
  • As that great deflator of metaphysical questions, philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, taught us, the meaning of a term is fixed by the community that uses it.
  • However, the very strength of such an epistemological claim makes it difficult to assume with begging the metaphysical result in question.
1.1Based on abstract reasoning: an empiricist rather than a metaphysical view of law
More example sentences
  • I think that the two types of cosmology, that is religious cosmology based on a metaphysical vision or view of the universe and modern cosmology, should not be confused.
  • It could be argued that the inverted spectrum hypothesis is incoherent for deep metaphysical and empirical reasons.
  • His enduring little classic, The Problems of Philosophy, sketches the metaphysical and epistemological views he then held.
Synonyms
abstract, theoretical, conceptual, notional, philosophical, speculative, intellectual, academic;
unpractical, abstruse, recondite
1.2Transcending physical matter or the laws of nature: Good and Evil are inextricably linked in a metaphysical battle across space and time
More example sentences
  • I think most New Zealanders would agree that it is appropriate to consider spiritual and metaphysical matters as part of a consent process.
  • Now it is the confused management of metaphysical and spiritual matters.
  • Here, in language, & still more in logic, we are point blank at issue - There is a moral or metaphysical part of nature as well as a physical.
Synonyms
transcendental, spiritual, supernatural, paranormal;
extramundane, unearthly, ethereal, incorporeal
2Of or characteristic of the metaphysical poets.
Example sentences
  • On one level there is the English metaphysical tradition perhaps best exemplified by John Donne.
  • John Donne, metaphysical poetry, ovarian cancer and chemotherapy might not normally suggest an entertaining night at the theatre.

noun

Back to top  
(the Metaphysicals) The metaphysical poets.
Example sentences
  • Or Eliot, who wrote on the Metaphysicals, Marvell, Dryden, Blake, Wordsworth, Baudelaire and, of course, Dante, as well as many other writers.
  • And in the beginning of reading poetry, for me it was in the thirties, and I - and everybody was reading Metaphysicals, Donne and so forth.
  • The Metaphysicals and the Elizabethans are clearly still read with devotion.

Derivatives

metaphysically

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • It is the metaphysically given that must be accepted: it cannot be changed.
  • It would seem that these contemporaries of the fun society paint its dark side and all its ruptures so appealingly that they talk to the metaphysically homeless from the soul.
  • I can't say I think one way is metaphysically better than the other.

Words that rhyme with metaphysical

physical, quizzical

Definition of metaphysical in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtəːpsɪkəˈriːən
adjective
relating to dancing