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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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)]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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-]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



(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.

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


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]
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
خُرافَهمِثال خُرافي
אמונה תפלה
batıl inançbatıl itikatboş inanç


[ˌsuːpəˈstɪʃən] Nsuperstición f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˌsuːpərˈstɪʃən] nsuperstition f
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


nAberglaube m no pl; this is a superstitiondas ist Aberglaube
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˌsuːpəˈstɪʃn] nsuperstizione f
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(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
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


n. superstición.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


n superstición f
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
There were in all ten red Martians, men and women, and when we had briefly explained our plan they decided to join forces with us, though it was evident that it was with some considerable misgivings that they thus tempted fate by opposing an ancient superstition, even though each knew through cruel experience the fallacy of its entire fabric.
This sentiment has degenerated into a kind of religious superstition in families to which cretins belong; but does it not spring from the most beautiful of Christian virtues--from charity, and from a belief in a reward hereafter, that most effectual support of our social system, and the one thought that enables us to endure our miseries?
Partly from its peculiar colour, partly from a superstition which represented it as feeling the influence of the deity whom it adorned, and growing and lessening in lustre with the waxing and waning of the moon, it first gained the name by which it continues to be known in India to this day--the name of THE MOONSTONE.
They filled her mind with the superstitions which are still respected as truths in the wild North--especially the superstition called the Second Sight."
As I leaned over the railing and gazed upon the strange effigy and watched the play of the feathery head-dress, stirred by the same breeze which in low tones breathed amidst the lofty palm-trees, I loved to yield myself up to the fanciful superstition of the islanders, and could almost believe that the grim warrior was bound heavenward.
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.
Perfect calms at sea are always suspected by the experienced mariner to be the forerunners of a storm, and I know some persons, who, without being generally the devotees of superstition, are apt to apprehend that great and unusual peace or tranquillity will be attended with its opposite.
Yet in religious meditations, there is sometimes mixture of vanity, and of superstition. You shall read, in some of the friars' books of mortification, that a man should think with himself, what the pain is, if he have but his finger's end pressed, or tortured, and thereby imagine, what the pains of death are, when the whole body is corrupted, and dissolved; when many times death passeth, with less pain than the torture of a limb; for the most vital parts, are not the quickest of sense.
"Oh, well, it may be a superstition or it may not, doctor, dear.
The Amphictyons had in their hands the superstition of the times, one of the principal engines by which government was then maintained; they had a declared authority to use coercion against refractory cities, and were bound by oath to exert this authority on the necessary occasions.
Opening of the caches Detachments of Cerre and Hodgkiss Salmon River Mountains Superstition of an Indian trapper Godin's River Preparations for trapping An alarm An interruption A rival band Phenomena of Snake River Plain Vast clefts and chasms Ingulfed streams Sublime scenery A grand buffalo hunt.
This superstition may also have arisen, in part, from a natural phenomenon of a singular nature.