Definition of superstition in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌsuːpəˈstɪʃ(ə)n/


[mass noun]
1Excessively credulous belief in and reverence for the supernatural: he dismissed the ghost stories as mere superstition
More example sentences
  • He deployed the erudition that made his work a source-book of historical and religious criticism in a humane and enquiring spirit, impatient of credulity, superstition, and intolerance.
  • The cloak of organizational rationality is lifted to reveal sorcery, superstition, and the suspicion of witchcraft.
  • Reason has not, and will not, ever completely displace man's belief in the unknown, be it in religion or superstition.
unfounded belief, credulity;
magic, sorcery, witchcraft;
fallacy, delusion, illusion
1.1 [count noun] A widely held but irrational belief in supernatural influences, especially as leading to good or bad luck, or a practice based on such a belief: she touched her locket for luck, a superstition she’d had since childhood
More example sentences
  • It deals with her superstitions and beliefs in the supernatural - she has a friend who predicted his own murder, and after he was killed the names of the two killers came to her out of nowhere.
  • Optimism seems to rule: Four of the five most widely held superstitions are the ones that bring on the good.
  • Often the builders of hotels or airplanes leave out row 13 or floor 13 in an attempt to pander to popular superstitions.
myth, belief, old wives' tale, notion;
legend, story


Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin superstitio(n-), from super- 'over' + stare 'to stand' (perhaps from the notion of ‘standing over’ something in awe).

  • The Latin word superstitio comes from super- ‘over’ and stare ‘to stand’. The idea seems to have been of ‘standing over’ something in amazement or awe. By the time superstition first appeared in English at the beginning of the 15th century it referred to an irrational religious belief based on fear, or ignorance or to a religious belief considered false or pagan. The more general ‘irrational or unfounded belief’ sense is first recorded in the 1790s.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: super|sti¦tion

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