A Word A Day : Preternatural

Thursday, 22nd November 2007 : Today's Word is ...


( Adjective )

Pronunciation : preter-náchurel

1. out of the ordinary course of nature; exceptional or abnormal

2. outside of nature

3. Surpassing the normal or usual, extraordinary

4. of, coming from, or relating to forces or beings that exist outside the natural world


Medieval Latin praeternātūrālis, from Latin praeter nātūrām, beyond nature : praeter, beyond - preterit + nātūra, nature


aberrant, abnormal, anomalistic, anomalous, atypic, atypical, deviant, divergent, irregular, unnatural, extramundane, extrasensory, metaphysical, miraculous, superhuman, supernatural, superphysical, supersensible, transcendental, unearthly


common, conventional, customary, natural, normal, regular, standard, straight, typical, unexceptional, usual

Contextual Example:

• Below his preternatural affability there is some acid and steel.

• Nevertheless, the old sea-traditions, the immemorial credulities, popularly invested this old Manxman with preternatural powers of discernment.

Related Words :

1. preternaturally: Adverb

2. preternaturalism: Noun

3. preternaturalness: Noun

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