super men

superman

[soo-per-man]
noun, plural supermen.
1.
a person of extraordinary or superhuman powers.
2.
an ideal superior being conceived by Nietzsche who attains happiness, dominance, and creativity.
3.
a superior being conceived as the product of human evolution.
4.
one who prevails by virtue of being a ruthless egoist of superior strength, cunning, and force of will.

Origin:
1900–05; super- + man1, translation of German Übermensch


See -man.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
superman (ˈsuːpəˌmæn)
 
n , pl -men
1.  (in the philosophy of Nietzsche) an ideal man who through integrity and creativity would rise above good and evil and who represents the goal of human evolution
2.  any man of apparently superhuman powers

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

superman
1903, coined by George Bernard Shaw to translate Ger. Übermensch, "highly evolved human being that transcends good and evil," from "Thus Spake Zarathustra" (1883-91), by Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). First used in Ger. by Hermann Rab (1527), and also used by Herder and Goethe. Translated as overman
(1895) and beyond-man (1896) before Shaw got it right in his play title "Man and Superman" (1903). Application to comic strip hero is from 1938.
"So was created ... Superman! champion of the oppressed, the physical marvel who had sworn to devote his existence to helping those in need!" ["Action Comics," June 1, 1938]
Superwoman first recorded 1976 in the sense of "one who combines career and motherhood."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

Superman definition


A seemingly immortal, superhuman comic-strip character created in the late 1930s, who hides his powers beneath the persona of Clark Kent, a mild-mannered newspaper reporter. Only when there is a threat of danger — often to his fellow reporter and secret love, Lois Lane — does Clark transform himself into the caped hero with x-ray vision.

Note: Superman has been adapted for various radio and television series and a number of highly successful films.

Superman definition


An ideal of humanity found in Thus Spake Zarathustra, by Friedrich Nietzsche. The Superman, or Overman (the German is &Udie;bermensch), is the single goal of all human striving, for which people must be willing to sacrifice all. It is doubtful that Nietzsche thought of the Overman as an individual person.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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