The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the laws of nature. It is derived from Medieval Latin supernaturalis, from Latin super- (above, beyond, or outside of) + natura (nature ).[1] Though the term "nature" has had multiple meanings since the ancient world, the term "supernatural" emerged in the medieval period[2] and did not exist in the ancient world.[3]

Saint Peter Attempting to Walk on Water (1766), painting by François Boucher

The supernatural is featured in folklore and religious contexts.[4] but can also feature as an explanation in more secular contexts, as in the cases of superstitions or belief in the paranormal.[5] The term is typically attributed to non-physical entities, such as angels, demons, gods, and spirits. It also includes claimed abilities embodied in or provided by such beings, including magic, telekinesis, levitation, precognition, and extrasensory perception.

The philosophy of naturalism contends that all phenomena are scientifically explicable and nothing exists beyond the natural world, and as such approaches supernatural claims with skepticism.[6]