superman

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English[edit]

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German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who introduced the term Übermensch in an 1883 work. The word was first translated into English as superman in the early 20th century.

Etymology[edit]

A calque of German Übermensch; super- +‎ man. The German word was introduced by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) in his work Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zarathustra, 1883), and rendered in English as superman by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) in the play Man and Superman (1903) and by Thomas Common (1850–1919) in his 1909 translation of Nietzsche’s work. Some scholars regard this word as not properly conveying the meaning of Übermensch, and prefer to use the German word or overman.

The “person of extraordinary powers” sense was reinforced by the DC Comics’ character Superman, who first appeared in Action Comics #1 dated June 1938.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

superman ‎(plural supermen or supermans)

  1. (chiefly philosophy) An imagined superior type of human being representing a new stage of human development; an übermensch, an overman.
    Nietzsche wrote of the coming of the superman.
  2. A person of extraordinary or seemingly superhuman powers.
    He worked like a superman to single-handedly complete the project on time.
  3. (plural supermans) A motorcycling stunt in which the rider releases both hands from the handlebars in mid-air.

Antonyms[edit]

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Anagrams[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from English superman.

Noun[edit]

superman m ‎(plural supermans)

  1. (philosophy) superman
  2. superman (man with superpowers)

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External links[edit]


Italian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from English superman, from super- +‎ man.

Noun[edit]

superman m ‎(invariable)

  1. superman