Metaphysical



pertaining to or of the nature of metaphysics.
Philosophy.

concerned with abstract thought or subjects, as existence, causality, or truth.
concerned with first principles and ultimate grounds, as being, time, or substance.

highly abstract, subtle, or abstruse.
designating or pertaining to the poetry of an early group of 17th-century English poets, notably John Donne, whose characteristic style is highly intellectual and philosophical and features intensive use of ingenious conceits and turns of wit.
Archaic. imaginary or fanciful.
Contemporary Examples

And I hope circumstances let him be a metaphysical again someday soon.
Pakistan’s Fictional Peace Olivia Cole January 25, 2010

It hinges on the assumption that the Vatican or its metaphysical emanation, the Holy See, is a state.
Prosecute the Pope Geoffrey Robertson March 31, 2010

The green line has no metaphysical status; Israel has legally defined borders only insofar as we make hard distinctions.
@PhantomState Raphael Magarik June 11, 2012

He left the U.S., seeking a spiritual and metaphysical connection for his work elsewhere.
A Gay American Artist in Kaiser’s Berlin Sarah Bay Williams August 9, 2014

Things get metaphysical in one of the most masterful hours of television since ‘Breaking Bad.’
‘True Detective’ Episode 5 Review: ‘The Secret Fate of All Life’ is the Best Episode Yet Andrew Romano February 16, 2014

Historical Examples

He sought no further in metaphysical systems; he desired no further insight.
The Shadow of Life Anne Douglas Sedgwick

I do not mean to say that they did this with any occult or metaphysical motives.
Modern Painters Volume II (of V) John Ruskin

Fate and metaphysical aid conspire against his virtue and his loyalty.
Hazlitt on English Literature Jacob Zeitlin

These three stages are the Theological, the metaphysical, and the Positive.
Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 3 of 3) John Morley

The most remarkable feature of the character of the Persian people is their love of metaphysical speculation.
The Development of Metaphysics in Persia Muhammad Iqbal

adjective
relating to or concerned with metaphysics
(of a statement or theory) having the form of an empirical hypothesis, but in fact immune from empirical testing and therefore (in the view of the logical positivists) literally meaningless
(popularly) abstract, abstruse, or unduly theoretical
incorporeal; supernatural
adjective
denoting or relating to certain 17th-century poets who combined intense feeling with ingenious thought and often used elaborate imagery and conceits. Notable among them were Donne, Herbert, and Marvell
noun
a poet of this group
adj.

early 15c., “pertaining to metaphysics,” from methaphesik (late 14c.) + -al, and in part from Medieval Latin metaphysicalis, from Medieval Latin metaphysica (see metaphysics). It came to be used in the sense of “abstract, speculative” (e.g. by Johnson, who applied it to certain 17c. poets, notably Donne and Cowley, who used “witty conceits” and abstruse imagery). Related: Metaphysically.

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