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pataphysics Syllabification: pa·ta·phys·ics
Pronunciation: /ˌpädəˈfiziks/

Definition of pataphysics in English:

plural noun

[usually treated as singular]
The branch of philosophy that deals with an imaginary realm additional to metaphysics.
Example sentences
  • There were talks on physics, metaphysics, and pataphysics; readings of Jarry, Shakespeare, Beckett, Strindberg, Queneau, and Schwitters; performances of modern music and scientific film.
  • Those who feel that obvious displays of intellectual prowess involving references to archaeology, pataphysics and other arcana have no place on a rock record may have trouble with this sort of thing.
  • So, the only respectable branch of physics in which the Bogdanov's operate appears to be, umm… pataphysics.


1940s: from Greek ta epi ta metaphusika, literally 'the (works) imposed on the Metaphysics'. The concept was introduced by Alfred Jarry (1873–1907), French writer of the Absurd.

Definition of pataphysics in:
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