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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Preternatural


PRETERNAT'URAL, adjective [Latin proeter and natural.] Beyond what is natural, or different from what is natural; irregular. We call those events in the physical world preternatural which are extraordinary, which are deemed to be beyond or without the ordinary course of things, and yet are not deemed miraculous; in distinction from events which are supernatural, which cannot be produced by physical laws or powers, and must therefore be produced by a direct exertion of omnipotence. We also apply the epithet to things uncommon or irregular; as a preternatural swelling; a preternatural pulse; a preternatural excitement or temper.