- in the philosophy of Nietzsche, an idealized, superior, dominating human being, regarded as the goal of the evolutionary struggle for survival
- a man having apparently superhuman powers
Origin of supermancalque ; from German übermensch (; from über, over + mensch, person), Nietzsche's term
- A man with more than human powers.
- An ideal superior man who, according to Nietzsche, forgoes transient pleasure, exercises creative power, lives at a level of experience beyond standards of good and evil, and is the goal of human evolution. Also called overman.
Origin of supermanTranslation of German &Udie;bermensch : &udie;ber-, super- + Mensch, man. Word History: Superman, the all-American 20th-century comic-book hero, takes his name from the 19th-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche's term for the ideal superior man, which is &Udie;bermensch in German. &Udie;bermensch might also have been translated Overman or Beyondman, but a work by George Bernard Shaw published in 1903 helped to establish the English term for Nietzsche's concept as superman. Such a term comes to us through a process called loan translation, or calque formation, whereby the semantic components of a word or phrase in one language are translated literally into their equivalents in another language.
(plural supermen or supermans)
- (chiefly philosophy) An imagined superior type of human being representing a new stage of human development; übermensch.
- Nietzsche wrote of the coming of the superman.
- A person of extraordinary or seemingly superhuman powers.
- He worked like a superman, to single-handedly complete the project on time.
- (plural supermans) A motorcycling stunt in which the rider releases both hands from the handlebars in mid-air.
- per nasum
(countable and uncountable;'plural Supermen)
First published in June 1938.