superstition

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n superstition an irrational belief arising from ignorance or fear
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Tomatos were once referred to as "love apples." This is because their was a superstition that people would fall in love by eating them
    • Superstition An excessive reverence for, or fear of, that which is unknown or mysterious.
    • Superstition An ignorant or irrational worship of the Supreme Deity; excessive exactness or rigor in religious opinions or practice; extreme and unnecessary scruples in the observance of religious rites not commanded, or of points of minor importance; also, a rite or practice proceeding from excess of sculptures in religion. "And the truth
      With superstitions and traditions taint."
    • Superstition Belief in the direct agency of superior powers in certain extraordinary or singular events, or in magic, omens, prognostics, or the like.
    • Superstition Excessive nicety; scrupulous exactness.
    • Superstition The worship of a false god or gods; false religion; religious veneration for objects. "The accusers] had certain questions against him of their own superstition ."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: A superstition in baseball is to never lend your bat to anyone or you will be jinxed
    • n superstition An ignorant or irrational fear of that which is unknown or mysterious; especially, such fear of some invisible existence or existences; specifically, religious belief or practice, or both, founded on irrational fear or credulity; excessive or unreasonable religious scruples produced by credulous fears.
    • n superstition A religious belief or a system of religion regarded as based on ignorance and fear; especially, the worship of false gods, as induced by fear; pagan religious doctrines and practices.
    • n superstition Hence, any false or unreasonable belief tenaciously held: as, popular superstitions.
    • n superstition Excessive nicety; scrupulous exactness.
    • n superstition Idolatrous devotion.
    • n superstition = Syn. 1–3. Superstition, Credulity, Fanaticism, Bigotry. Credulity is a general readiness to believe what one is told, without sufficient evidence. Superstition may be the result of credulity in regard to religious beliefs or duties or as to the supernatural. As compared with fanaticism it is a state of fears on the one side and rigorous observances on the other, both proceeding from an oppression of the mind by its beliefs, while fanaticism is too highly wrought in its excitement for fear or for attention to details of conduct. Fanaticism is a half-crazy substitution of fancies for reason, primarily in the field of religion, but secondarily in politics, etc. Fanaticism is demonstrative, being often ready to undertake, in obedience to its supposed duty or call by special revelation, tasks that are commonly considered wicked or treated as criminal. Bigotry is less a matter of action: subjectively it is a blind refusal to entertain the idea of correctness or excellence in religious opinions or practices other than one's own; objectively it is an attitude matching such a state of mind. Credulity is opposed to skepticism, superstition to irreverence, fanaticism to indifference, bigotry to latitudinarianism. See enthusiastic.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Superstition sū-pėr-stish′un excessive reverence or fear, based on ignorance: excessive exactness in religious opinions or practice: false worship or religion: an ignorant and irrational belief in supernatural agency, omens, divination, sorcery, &c.: belief in what is absurd, without evidence: rites or practices proceeding from superstitious belief or fear: over-nicety, exactness too scrupulous or morbid
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Quotations

  • Ulysses S. Grant
    Ulysses S. Grant
    “Everyone has his superstitions. One of mine has always been when I started to go anywhere, accomplished.”
  • Thomas Fuller
    Thomas%20Fuller
    “Thou ought to be nice, even to superstition, in keeping thy promises, and therefore equally cautious in making them.”
  • Marguerite Gardiner Blessington
    Marguerite Gardiner Blessington
    “Superstition is only the fear of belief, while religion is the confidence.”
  • Edmund Burke
    Edmund%20Burke
    “Superstition is the religion of feeble minds.”
  • Marcus T. Cicero
    Marcus%20T.%20Cicero
    “Superstition is an unreasoning fear of God.”
  • Marlene Dietrich
    Marlene%20Dietrich
    “Superstitions are habits rather than beliefs.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. superstition, L. superstitio, originally, a standing still over or by a thing; hence, amazement, wonder, dread, especially of the divine or supernatural, fr. superstare, to stand over; super, over + stare, to stand. See Super-, and Stand
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. superstitio, excessive religious belief—super, over, above, statum, sistĕrestāre, to stand.

Usage

In literature:

You know, Mr Glanton, I have a superstition about it.
"A Frontier Mystery" by Bertram Mitford
These are all superstitions, and we ought to be ashamed to believe any superstition.
"Earth and Sky Every Child Should Know" by Julia Ellen Rogers
Superficiality and superstition widely prevail.
"Women of the Teutonic Nations" by Hermann Schoenfeld
This superstition is observed by some to this day.
"The Cruise of the Elena or Yachting in the Hebrides" by J. Ewing Ritchie
Superstition, considered as the unreasonable fear of natural agencies, is a passive rather than an active opponent of science.
"The Origin of the World According to Revelation and Science" by John William Dawson
We are sceptics in everything but our superstitions.
"The Book of This and That" by Robert Lynd
The little superstition is as widely distributed as the flint arrow-heads.
"Custom and Myth" by Andrew Lang
Frank Chance, the manager of the Cubs, has a funny superstition which is of the personal sort.
"Pitching in a Pinch" by Christy Mathewson
Nay, the corruption of the very sound is so notorious, that it is only worth mention as illustrating a phase of superstition.
"The Expositor's Bible: The Book of Exodus" by G. A. Chadwick
Yet her soul was not enslaved to that dark and dismal superstition.
"Sketches of Aboriginal Life" by V. V. Vide
This is one of the many instances in which Chinese superstitions are financially expensive.
"Village Life in China" by Arthur H. Smith
This monstrous superstition grew to its height in the twelfth century.
"View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages, Vol. 3 (of 3)" by Henry Hallam
All ignorance and superstition!
"The Blood of the Arena" by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez
While disputing many popular superstitions he showed he partook of others.
"A Biographical Dictionary of Freethinkers of All Ages and Nations" by Joseph Mazzini Wheeler
That they had great faults, bigotry, intolerance, and superstition, is now generally conceded.
"Speeches, Addresses, and Occasional Sermons, Volume 2 (of 3)" by Theodore Parker
The peasantry of our times have scarce an idea of the enjoyment consequent upon the old creeds and superstitions of their forefathers.
"William Shakespeare as he lived." by Henry Curling
Of course there were superstitions in the old days, but, then, there have been superstitions in medicine at all times.
"Education: How Old The New" by James J. Walsh
You see, there exists more or less a sort of superstition in every country.
"A Fantasy of Far Japan" by Baron Kencho Suyematsu
His superstition was the strongest feature of his depraved mind.
"Sons and Fathers" by Harry Stillwell Edwards
Kindred superstitions stretch through the world.
"Essays in the Study of Folk-Songs (1886)" by Countess Evelyn Martinengo-Cesaresco
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In poetry:

And this our grandest mission,
And this our purest worth;
To banish superstition,
The blackest curse on earth.
"The Spirits for Good" by Henry Lawson
"Fiendish superstitions hold thee
To a vile and hideous death.
Break their bonds; let love enfold thee;
Off, and fly with me;"—he saith.
"Lita of the Nile" by Richard Doddridge Blackmore
Beautiful is the tradition
Of that flight through heavenly portals,
The old classic superstition
Of the theft and the transmission
Of the fire of the Immortals!
"Prometheus, Or, The Poet's Forethought. (Birds Of Passage. Flight The First)" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Above all cant, all arguments of men,
Above all superstitions, old or new,
Above all creeds of every age and clime,
Stands the eternal truth--the creed of creeds.
"Men" by Hanford Lennox Gordon
The gloom of night had overspread the land,
Swaying its dread sceptre o'er every man;
For superstition like a monarch reigned,
And Adam's sons were fettered by its chain.
"The Nativity" by Mary Weston Fordham
Through the dim veil of evening's dusky shade,
Near some lone fane, or yew's funereal green,
What dreary forms has magic Fear survey'd!
What shrouded spectres Superstition seen!
"Elegy IV. Ophilia's Urn. To Mr. Graves" by William Shenstone

In news:

A fire most likely struck by lightning on the superstition mountains.
Players from the Washington Nationals reveal baseball superstitions they have.
" Superstition has an element of truth in it," says Ping Pong's general manager Myca Ferrer.
So my question to you is, what superstition do you have.
According to some sources, it's the most widespread superstition in the United States today.
So if anyone has or knows of a fishing superstition , please share it with me on this blog or email egodfrey@opubco.com.
To enter, tell us about a lucky charm or superstition in your family.
The event revives superstitions about birds as omens.
Friday the 13th is the day of Bad luck or Horror films, maybe a superstition or two.
Sage words of superstition from someone who lived and worked through the Great Depression.
Superstition in sports have no affect on the outcome (Sam Farnsworth).
The superstition that is Friday the 13th dates back to the mid-19th century.
Black cat crossing 13 common superstitions.
Dawn breaks quick and hard in the Superstition Mountains.
Flyer goalie 's major league superstition.
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In science:

If that language is vague and inaccurate, as the positivists suggested, or is burdened with the prejudices and superstitions of an ignorant past, as some cultural anthropologists averred, then it is bound to render the user’s thinking confused.
Does Meaning Evolve?
Hence the Fano factor for a superstition of the singlet and entangled triplet evaluates between 0 and 2.
Shot Noise for Entangled Electrons with Berry Phase
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