supermodel (n.) Look up supermodel at
1978, from super- + model (n.).
supernal (adj.) Look up supernal at
mid-15c., "heavenly, divine," from Old French supernal "supreme" (12c.), formed from Latin supernus "situated above, that is above; celestial" (from super "above, over;" see super-) as a contrast to infernal.
supernatant (adj.) Look up supernatant at
"floating on the surface," 1660s, from Latin supernatantem (nominative supernatans), present participle of supernatare "to swim above," from super (see super-) + natare "to swim," frequentative of nare "to swim" (see natatorium). Related: Supernatation (1620s).
supernatural (adj.) Look up supernatural at
early 15c. "of or given by God," from Medieval Latin supernaturalis "above or beyond nature, divine," from Latin super "above" (see super-) + natura "nature" (see nature (n.)). Originally with more of a religious sense, "of or given by God, divine; heavenly;" association with ghosts, etc., has predominated since 19c. Related: Supernaturalism.
That is supernatural, whatever it be, that is either not in the chain of natural cause and effect, or which acts on the chain of cause and effect, in nature, from without the chain. [Horace Bushnell, "Nature and the Supernatural," 1858]
supernatural (n.) Look up supernatural at
1729, "a supernatural being," from supernatural (adj.). From 1830 as "that which is above or beyond the established course of nature."
supernaturally (adv.) Look up supernaturally at
c. 1500, "from God or Heaven," from supernatural (adj.) + -ly (2).
supernova (n.) Look up supernova at
1934, from super- + nova.
supernumerary (adj.) Look up supernumerary at
"exceeding a stated number," c. 1600, from Late Latin supernumarius "excess, counted in over" (of soldiers added to a full legion), from Latin super numerum "beyond the number," from super "beyond, over" (see super-) + numerum, accusative of numerus "number" (see number (n.)). As a noun from 1630s.
superordinate (adj.) Look up superordinate at
1610s, on model of subordinate with super-. Related: Superordination.
superpose (v.) Look up superpose at
1823, from French superposer, from super- (see super-) + poser (see pose (v.1)). Related: Superposed; superposing.
superposition (n.) Look up superposition at
1650s, from French superposition, from Late Latin superpositionem (nominative superpositio) "a placing over," noun of action from past participle stem of superponere "to place over," from super (see super-) + ponere "to put, place" (past participle positus; see position (n.)).
superpower (n.) Look up superpower at
1944, in geopolitical sense of "nation with great interest and ability to exert force in worldwide theaters of conflict," from super- + power (n.). The word itself is attested in physical (electrical power) senses from 1922.
supersaturated (adj.) Look up supersaturated at
1778, past participle adjective from verb supersaturate (1756), from super- + saturate (v.).
supersaturation (n.) Look up supersaturation at
1784, from super- + saturation.
superscribe (v.) Look up superscribe at
"write on the surface" (especially of an envelope), 1590s, from Latin superscribere "write over or above" (see superscript). Related: Superscribed; superscribing.
superscript (n.) Look up superscript at
1580s, "address or direction on a letter," from Middle French superscript, from Latin superscriptus "written above," past participle of superscribere "write over or above something (as a correction)," from super "above" (see super-) + scribere "write" (see script (n.)). Meaning "number or letter written above something" first recorded 1901.
superscription (n.) Look up superscription at
late 14c., from Latin superscriptionem (nominative superscriptio) "a writing above," noun of action from past participle stem of superscribere (see superscript).
supersede (v.) Look up supersede at
mid-15c., Scottish, "postpone, defer," from Middle French superceder "desist, delay, defer," from Latin supersedere literally "sit on top of;" also, with ablative, "stay clear of, abstain from, forbear, refrain from," from super "above" (see super-) + sedere "to sit" (see sedentary). Meaning "displace, replace" first recorded 1640s. Related: Superseded; superseding.
supersedeas (n.) Look up supersedeas at
writ to stay legal proceedings, Latin, literally "you shall desist," second person singular present subjunctive of supersedere "desist, refrain from, forebear" (see supersede).
supersession (n.) Look up supersession at
1650s, from Medieval Latin supersessionem (nominative supersessio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin supersedere "sit on top of" (see supersede).
supersonic (adj.) Look up supersonic at
1919, "of or having to do with sound waves beyond the limit of human hearing," from super- + sonic. Attested from 1934 in sense of "exceeding the speed of sound" (especially as a measure of aircraft speed), leaving the original sense to ultrasonic (1923).
superstar (n.) Look up superstar at
1920, in the sports and entertainment sense (Babe Ruth was one of the first so-called), from super- + star (n.).
superstition (n.) Look up superstition at
early 13c., "false religious belief; irrational faith in supernatural powers," from Latin superstitionem (nominative superstitio) "prophecy, soothsaying; dread of the supernatural, excessive fear of the gods, religious belief based on fear or ignorance and considered incompatible with truth or reason," literally "a standing over," noun of action from past participle stem of superstare "stand on or over; survive," from super "above" (see super-) + stare "to stand," from PIE root *stā- "to stand" (see stet).

There are many theories to explain the Latin sense development, but none has yet been generally accepted; de Vaan suggests the sense is "cause to remain in existence." Originally in English especially of religion; sense of "unreasonable notion" is from 1794.
superstitious (adj.) Look up superstitious at
late 14c., "involving faith in supernatural powers or magic; characteristic of pagan religion or false religion," from Anglo-French supersticius, Old French supersticios, or directly from Latin superstitiosus "prophetic; full of dread of the supernatural," from superstitio "prophecy, soothsaying, excessive fear of the gods" (see superstition).
superstore (n.) Look up superstore at
1960, from super- + store (n.).
superstructure (n.) Look up superstructure at
1640s, from super- + structure (n.).
supertanker (n.) Look up supertanker at
1921, from super- + tanker.
supervene (v.) Look up supervene at
1640s, "come as something additional," from Latin supervenire "come on top of, come in addition to, come after, follow upon," from super "over, upon" (see super-) + venire "come" (see venue). Related: Supervened; supervening.
supervenient (adj.) Look up supervenient at
1590s, from Latin supervenientem (nominative superveniens), present participle of supervenire "come in addition to" (see supervene). Related: Superveniently.
supervention (n.) Look up supervention at
1640s, from Late Latin superventionem (nominative superventio), noun of action from past participle stem of supervenire "come in addition to" (see supervene).
supervise (v.) Look up supervise at
late 15c., "to look over" (implied in supervising), from Medieval Latin supervisus, past participle of supervidere "oversee, inspect," from Latin super "over" (see super-) + videre "see" (see vision). Meaning "to oversee and superintend the work or performance of others" is attested from 1640s. Related: Supervised.
supervision (n.) Look up supervision at
1630s, from Medieval Latin supervisionem (nominative supervisio), noun of action from past participle stem of supervidere "oversee, inspect" (see supervise).
supervisor (n.) Look up supervisor at
"one who inspects and directs the work of others," mid-15c., from Medieval Latin supervisor, agent noun from supervidere "oversee, inspect" (see supervise).
supervisory (adj.) Look up supervisory at
1828, from supervise + -ory.
superwoman (n.) Look up superwoman at
1906, as female equivalent of superman in the Nietzschean sense. From 1976 in the sense of "one who successfully combines career and motherhood."
supinate (v.) Look up supinate at
1831, "to place the hand so that the palm is turned upward," from Latin supinatus, past participle of supinare "to bend back," related to supinus (see supine). Related: Supinated; supinating; supinator.
supination (n.) Look up supination at
1660s, from Late Latin supinationem (nominative supinatio), noun of action from past participle stem of supinare (see supinate).
supine (adj.) Look up supine at
c. 1500, "lying on the back," from Latin supinus "bent backwards, thrown backwards, lying on the back," figuratively "inactive, indolent," from PIE *(s)up- (see sub-). The grammatical use for "Latin verbal noun formed from the past participle stem" (mid-15c.) is from Late Latin supinum verbum "supine verb," perhaps so called because, though furnished with a noun case ending, it "falls back" on the verb. Related: Supinely.
supper (n.) Look up supper at
mid-13c., soper, "the last meal of the day," from Old French soper "evening meal," noun use of infinitive soper "to eat the evening meal," which is of Germanic origin (see sup (v.1)).
Formerly, the last of the three meals of the day (breakfast, dinner, and supper); now applied to the last substantial meal of the day when dinner is taken in the middle of the day, or to a late meal following an early evening dinner. Supper is usually a less formal meal than late dinner. [OED]
Applied since c. 1300 to the last meal of Christ.
suppertime (n.) Look up suppertime at
also supper-time, late 14c., from supper + time (n.).
supplant (v.) Look up supplant at
early 14c., "to trip up, overthrow, defeat, dispossess," from Old French suplanter, sosplanter "to trip up, overthrow, drive out, usurp," or directly from Latin supplantare "trip up, overthrow," from sub "under" (see sub-) + planta "sole of the foot" (see plant (n.)). Meaning "replace one thing with another" first recorded 1670s. There is a sense evolution parallel in Hebrew akabh "he beguiled," from akebh "heel."
supple (adj.) Look up supple at
c. 1300, "soft, tender," from Old French souple, sople "pliant, flexible; humble, submissive" (12c.), from Gallo-Roman *supples, from Latin supplex "submissive, humbly begging, beseeching, kneeling in entreaty," literally "bending, kneeling down," perhaps an altered form of *supplacos "humbly pleading, appeasing," from sub "under" + placare "appease" (see placate). Meaning "pliant" is from late 14c.; figurative sense of "artfully obsequious, capable of adapting oneself to the wishes and opinions of others" is from c. 1600. Supple-chapped (c. 1600) was used of a flatterer. Related: Suppleness.
supplement (n.) Look up supplement at
late 14c., from Latin supplementum "that which fills up, that with which anything is made full or whole, something added to supply a deficiency," from supplere "to fill up" (see supply (v.)).
supplement (v.) Look up supplement at
1829, from supplement (n.). Compare Spanish suplementar. Related: Supplemented; supplementing.
supplemental (adj.) Look up supplemental at
c. 1600, from supplement (n.) + -al (1). Related: Supplementally. Generally "added to supply what is wanted," whereas supplementary historically tends toward "added as something secondary or supernumerary."
supplementary (adj.) Look up supplementary at
1660s, "added as something extra," from supplement (n.) + -ary. Suppletory in the same sense is from 1620s.
suppliant (n.) Look up suppliant at
early 15c., from Middle French suppliant, noun use of present participle of supplier "to plead humbly, entreat, beg, pray," (Old French souploier, 12c.), from Latin supplicare "beg, beseech" (see supplication). Originally in English especially at law; sense of "humble petitioner" is from mid-16c. As an adjective, "supplicating, entreating" from 1580s. Related: Suppliance; suppliantly.
supplicant (adj.) Look up supplicant at
1590s, from Latin supplicantem (nominative supplicans), present participle of supplicare "plead humbly" (see supplication). As a noun from 1590s, "a humble petitioner."
supplicate (v.) Look up supplicate at
early 15c., "beg for, beseech," back-formation from supplication or else from Latin supplicatus, past participle of supplicare "plead humbly, beseech, kneel down." Related: Supplicated; supplicating.
supplication (n.) Look up supplication at
late 14c., from Old French suplicacion "humble request," from Latin supplicationem (nominative supplicatio) "a public prayer, thanksgiving day," noun of action from past participle stem of supplicare "plead humbly" (see supple). In ancient Rome, a religious solemnity, especially in thanksgiving for a victory or in times of public danger.