From Latin nūmen (“nod of the head; divine sway or will; divinity”) + -ous (“suffix forming adjectives from nouns, denoting possession or presence of a quality”). Nūmen is believed to derive either from Latin *nuō (“to nod”) or from Ancient Greek νοούμενον (nooúmenon, “influence perceptible by the mind but not the senses”) (ultimately from νόος (nóos, “mind; thought; purpose”)).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈnjuːmɪnəs/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈn(j)umənəs/
- Hyphenation: nu‧min‧ous
- Of or relating to a numen (divinity); indicating the presence of a divinity. [from mid 17th c.]
His interest in numinous objects led him on a quest for the Holy Grail.
- Evoking a sense of the mystical, sublime, or transcendent; awe-inspiring.
1971, Peter Brown, The World of Late Antiquity: From Marcus Aurelius to Muhammad (Library of European civilization), London: Thames and Hudson, →ISBN, page 154:
- [Justinian I] had the genius to realize the vast resources available to an east Roman emperor of the early sixth century — an almost numinous past history, a full treasury, an unrivalled supply of human talent in every field.