superstition

superstition

[soo-per-stish-uhn]
noun
1.
a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.
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, especially in connection with religion.
5.
any blindly accepted belief or notion.

Origin:
1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin superstitiōn- (stem of superstitiō), equivalent to superstit- (stem of superstes) standing beyond, outliving (super- super- + -stit-, combining form of stat-, adj. derivative of stāre to stand) + -iōn- -ion

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World English Dictionary
superstition (ˌsuːpəˈstɪʃən)
 
n
1.  irrational belief usually founded on ignorance or fear and characterized by obsessive reverence for omens, charms, etc
2.  a notion, act or ritual that derives from such belief
3.  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 & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

superstition

belief, half-belief, or practice for which there appears to be no rational substance. Those who use the term imply that they have certain knowledge or superior evidence for their own scientific, philosophical, or religious convictions. An ambiguous word, it probably cannot be used except subjectively. With this qualification in mind, superstitions may be classified roughly as religious, cultural, and personal

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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