Etymology
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preternatural (adj.)

"beyond or different from what is natural," 1570s, from Medieval Latin preternaturalis (mid-13c.), from Latin phrase praeter naturam (praeterque fatum) "beyond nature (and beyond fate)," from praeter "beyond, over, more than in quantity or degree" (see preter-) + accusative of natura "nature" (see natural (adj.)).

Used at least since 1770s in the sense of supernatural, but technically and properly distinct from that word. "Preternatural is used especially to note that which might have been a work of nature, but is not" [Century Dictionary]. Related: Preternaturally; preternaturalness; preternaturalism.

updated on October 28, 2020

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Definitions of preternatural from WordNet

preternatural (adj.)
surpassing the ordinary or normal; "Beyond his preternatural affability there is some acid and some steel" - George Will;
Synonyms: uncanny
preternatural (adj.)
existing outside of or not in accordance with nature; "find transcendental motives for sublunary action"-Aldous Huxley;
Synonyms: nonnatural / otherworldly / transcendental
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.