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1. An irrational belief that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences its outcome.
a. A belief, practice, or rite irrationally maintained by ignorance of the laws of nature or by faith in magic or chance.
b. A fearful or abject state of mind resulting from such ignorance or irrationality.
c. Idolatry.

[Middle English supersticion, from Old French superstition, from Latin superstitiō, superstitiōn-, from superstes, superstit-, standing over; see stā- in Indo-European roots.]


1. (Alternative Belief Systems) irrational belief usually founded on ignorance or fear and characterized by obsessive reverence for omens, charms, etc
2. (Alternative Belief Systems) a notion, act or ritual that derives from such belief
3. (Alternative Belief Systems) any irrational belief, esp with regard to the unknown
[C15: from Latin superstitiō dread of the supernatural, from superstāre to stand still by something (as in amazement)]


(ˌsu pərˈstɪʃ ən)

1. an irrational belief in or notion of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, etc.
2. a system or collection of such beliefs.
3. a custom or act based on such a belief.
4. irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, esp. in connection with religion.
5. any blindly accepted belief or notion.
[1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin superstitiō=superstit-, s. of superstes standing beyond (super- super- + -stes, s. -stit-]



(See also GOOD LUCK.)

beware the ides of March A warning of impending danger, rarely heard today. This expression alludes to the words of the soothsayer who warned Julius Caesar to “Beware the ides of March.” Caesar ignored the advice, only to be killed on that very day, the 15th of March. According to the ancient Roman calendar, the ides falls on the 15th day of March, May, July, and October, and on the 13th day of the other months.

keep one’s fingers crossed To hope for good luck or success; literally to hook one finger over another. The expression, which dates from the first half of this century, may be connected with the old superstition that making the sign of the cross kept bad luck away.

We’ll … duck when we hear a mortar, and keep our fingers crossed. (Penguin New Writing, 1945)

old wives’ tale A foolish or nonsensical story; a traditional but inaccurate concept or superstition. This expression is derived from the fanciful yarns often related by elderly women.

These are the sort of old wives’ tales which he sings and recites to us. (Benjamin Jowett, The Dialogues of Plato, 1875)

Today the expression usually describes a superstitious notion still adhered to by many people even though it has been discredited by modern science.

put the whammy on See THWARTING.

right foot foremost See get off on the right foot, BEGINNINGS.

three on a match Any practice which reputedly brings ill luck, but most often the specific and literal practice of lighting three cigarettes with one match. The superstition supposedly arose among soldiers in wartime who believed that the glow from a match kept alive long enough to light three cigarettes would give the enemy time for careful aim at them as targets, thus quite possibly bringing about their death.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.superstition - an irrational belief arising from ignorance or fearsuperstition - an irrational belief arising from ignorance or fear
belief - any cognitive content held as true


1. unfounded belief Fortune-telling is an art surrounded by superstition.
2. myth, story, belief, legend, old wives' tale, notion The phantom of the merry-go-round is just a local superstition.
"Superstition is the religion of feeble minds" [Edmund Burke Reflections on the Revolution in France]
"Superstition is the poetry of life" [Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Maximen und Reflexionen]
خُرافَهمِثال خُرافي
אמונה תפלה
batıl inançbatıl itikatboş inanç


[ˌsuːpəˈstɪʃən] Nsuperstición f


[ˌsuːpərˈstɪʃən] nsuperstition f


nAberglaube m no pl; this is a superstitiondas ist Aberglaube


[ˌsuːpəˈstɪʃn] nsuperstizione f


(suːpəˈstiʃən) noun
1. (the state of fear and ignorance resulting from) the belief in magic, witchcraft and other things that cannot he explained by reason.
2. an example of this type of belief. There is an old superstition that those who marry in May will have bad luck.
ˌsuperˈstitious adjective
superstitious beliefs; She has always been very superstitious.
ˌsuperˈstitiously adverb


n. superstición.


n superstición f
References in classic literature ?
She put them in his buttonhole as a peace offering, and he stood a minute looking down at them with a curious expression, for in the Italian part of his nature there was a touch of superstition, and he was just then in that state of half-sweet, half-bitter melancholy, when imaginative young men find significance in trifles and food for romance everywhere.
Though we had come from such different parts of the world, in both of us there was some dusky superstition that those shining groups have their influence upon what is and what is not to be.
David closed his ears against the juvenile pack, whose yell just then rang shrilly through the forest; and Duncan, suffering his lip to curl, as in mockery of his own superstition, said firmly:
He has no patience with faith, an intense horror of superstition, and he scoffs openly at any talk of things not to be felt and seen and put down in figures.
To the thoughtful mind there will be no tinge of superstition in what we figuratively express, by affirming that the ghost of a dead progenitor--perhaps as a portion of his own punishment--is often doomed to become the Evil Genius of his family.
With the superstition common to his brotherhood, he fancied himself given over to a fiend, to be tortured with frightful dreams and desperate thoughts, the sting of remorse and despair of pardon, as a foretaste of what awaits him beyond the grave.
Such is the general purport of this legendary superstition, which has furnished materials for many a wild story in that region of shadows; and the spectre is known at all the country firesides, by the name of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow.
Uncommonly conscientious for a seaman, and endued with a deep natural reverence, the wild watery loneliness of his life did therefore strongly incline him to superstition; but to that sort of superstition, which in some organizations seems rather to spring, somehow, from intelligence than from ignorance.
I had had confidential agents trickling through the country some time, whose office was to undermine knighthood by imperceptible degrees, and to gnaw a little at this and that and the other superstition, and so prepare the way gradually for a better order of things.
Now unharness the remains of a once cow from the plow, insert them in a hydraulic press, and when you shall have acquired a teaspoon of that pale-blue juice which a German superstition regards as milk, modify the malignity of its strength in a bucket of tepid water and ring up the breakfast.
This superstition is very common among the more ignorant slaves.
I obeyed, so far as to quit the chamber; when, ignorant where the narrow lobbies led, I stood still, and was witness, involuntarily, to a piece of superstition on the part of my landlord which belied, oddly, his apparent sense.