preternatural
Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /ˌpɹiː.təˈnæt͡ʃ.(ə)ɹ.əl/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˌpɹi.tɚˈnæt͡ʃ.(ə)ɹ.əl/
  • (America)
Adjective

preternatural

  1. Beyond or not conforming to what is natural or according to the regular course of things; strange.
    Synonyms: inexplicable, exceptional, extraordinary, abnormal, uncanny
    • 1815, William Shearman, New Medical and Physical Journal
      I have employed cold air, and very often spongings with cold water, in order to moderate the preternatural heat of the skin, and to check the increased velocity of the circulation.
    • 1882, George Edward Ellis, The Red Man and the White Man in North America, [http://books.google.ca/books?id=FU1CAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA152&vq=preternatural&source=gbs_search_r&cad=1_1#PPA152,M1 p. 152],
      Doubtless there has been some exaggeration in the picturesque and fanciful relations of the almost preternatural skill and cunning of the Indian […]
    • 2018 "Quintessential Deckerstar", Lucifer
      D.B. Woodside as Amenadiel: "Something Charlotte said made me think. Maybe celestial beings and humans, Luci maybe they aren't that different."
      Tom Ellis as Lucifer Morningstar: "What, are we talking in bed? 'Cause we know all know my skills are preternatural. But I suppose you on the other hand..."
  2. (dated) Having an existence outside of the natural world.
    Synonyms: paranormal, supernatural, unnatural
    • 1817, William Hazlitt, Characters of Shakespeare's Plays, "Macbeth",
      Macbeth is like a record of a preternatural and tragical event.
    • 1860, George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, Book 1, Chapter 11,
      Not Leonore, in that preternatural midnight excursion with her phantom lover, was more terrified than poor Maggie in this entirely natural ride on a short-paced donkey, [...]
    • 1925, Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Ring of Thoth",
      Vansittart Smith, fixing his eyes upon the fellow's skin, was conscious of a sudden impression that there was something inhuman and preternatural about its appearance.
Related terms Translations Translations
  • French: extraordinaire
  • German: außernatürlich
  • Russian: сверхъесте́ственный



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