superstition

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superstition,

an irrational belief or practice resulting from ignorance or fear of the unknown. The validity of superstitions is based on belief in the power of magic and witchcraft and in such invisible forces as spirits and demons. A common superstition in the Middle Ages was that the devil could enter a person during that unguarded moment when that person was sneezing; this could be avoided if anyone present immediately appealed to the name of God. The tradition of saying "God bless you" when someone sneezes still remains today.
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superstition

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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
ANEW study has found that a significant number of British renters and homeowners have specific superstitions when it comes to their home lives: with ensuring umbrellas are never opened indoors, avoiding placing new shoes on the table, and throwing spilled salt over a shoulder emerging as the most common beliefs.
This is just one of the hundreds of thousands of superstitions with us today
Traditional superstitions are the inspiration for a rich, fully imagined fantasy world in the graphic novel Haphaven.
BRIGHTON'S Shane Duffy has revealed one of the most bizarre superstitions in football - his lucky toilet.
When you think about it, a few New Year superstitions make a lot of sense.
Summary: Why are youngsters abandoning cultural myths and superstitions?
For example, researchers have documented the wide-ranging nature of athlete superstitions, such as those involving apparel (Gregory & Petrie, 1975) and pre-performance routines (Lobmeyer & Wasserman, 1986).
He was a progressive voice and was critical of the superstitions in Hinduism.
Proven neither right or wrong, superstitions have been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years.
"I've kept a programme and a match sheet in my pocket and I only keep the ones of matches that we've won," Wyness explained when asked about his superstitions.
The thought of space agencies sticking to superstitions makes it seem like they are run by the aunties next door, who incessantly suggest which stones are suitable for which character flaw or flavour of success.
It's one of many superstitions attached to rainbows.