- 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 superman Translation of
German &Udie;bermensch über- super- Mensch man Word History:
Superman, the all-American 20th-century comic-book hero, takes his name from the term the 19th-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche used for the ideal superior man: &Udie;bermensch
. The German &Udie;bermensch
might also have been translated as overman
but George Bernard Shaw's play Man and Superman,
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, 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; Ã¼bermensch.
- 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.
A calque of German Ãœbermensch; super- +"Ž man. Compare overman. The sense of "person of extraordinary powers" was reinforced by the character Superman.
(countable and uncountable;'plural Supermen)
- A fictional superhero of DC Comics whose superpowers usually include the ability to fly, super strength, and extreme speed.
- A strong, tough or resistant man.
First published in June 1938.