Thursday, February 01, 2018

Merriam-Webster Word of the Day - Preternatural


 
 

WORD OF THE DAY
February 1, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
preternatural Audio pronunciation
 
adjective | pree-ter-NATCH-uh-rul  
 
Definition
 
:
existing outside of nature
 
:
exceeding what is natural or regular : extraordinary
 
:
inexplicable by ordinary means; especially : psychic
 
Scroll down for more about preternatural
 
 
 
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Did You Know?
 
Preternatural derives from the Latin phrase praeter naturam, which means "beyond nature." Medieval Latin scholars rendered the term as praeternaturalis, and that form inspired the modern English version. Unusual things are sometimes considered positive and sometimes negative, and throughout its history preternatural has been used to refer to both exceptionally good things and unnaturally evil ones. In its earliest documented uses in the 1500s, it tended to emphasize the strange, ominous, or foreboding, but by the 1700s, people were using it more benignly to refer to fascinating supernatural (or even heavenly) phenomena. Nowadays, people regularly use it to describe the remarkable abilities of exceptional humans.
 
 
Examples of PRETERNATURAL
 
"[Steven] Spielberg has ridden his preternatural talent to a career that has brought in nearly $10 billion at the box office, around $3 billion more than his nearest competitor. He's the ideal of a Hollywood director."
Ryan Bort, Newsweek, 29 Sept. 2017
 
"He has an almost preternatural emotional intelligence; when we meet for the second time I give him a hug, and he calls me out on it: 'What's up with that hug? That didn't have any feeling! Where's my hug?'"
Allison Samuels, Wired, February 2017
 
Name That Synonym
 
Unscramble the letters to create a synonym of preternatural: AHLNEUTYR.
 
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