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.
[Middle English supersticion, from Old French superstition, from Latin superstitiō, superstitiōn-, from superstes, superstit-, standing over; see stā- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.