Friday the 13th

If you suffer from triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13), you may want to stop reading now. Different cultures have considered Friday and the number 13 unlucky for thousands of years. Even today, some believe that the combination of the two is an especially jinxed event. The words on this list all relate to superstition, belief, luck, and unexplained phenomena.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. divination
    the art or gift of prophecy by supernatural means
    But, before I go, you shall hear another warning, which may enable you to judge whether my divinations are false or not.James, G. P. R. (George Payne Rainsford)
  2. folklore
    the unwritten stories and proverbs and songs of a culture
    The superstitious legends of the people were, however, for the most part but the growth of folklore through the imagination.Butterworth, Hezekiah
  3. foretell
    foreshadow or presage
    The chief objects of Pagan religions were to foretell the future, to explain the universe, to avert calamity, to obtain the assistance of the gods.Lecky, William Edward Hartpole
  4. intuitive
    obtained through instinctive knowledge
    He made up for a lack of formal training with an intuitive gift and a keen eye.Life of Pi
  5. irrational
    not consistent with or using reason
    The lazy, empty days in the city and the irrational atmosphere in the house set my nerves on edge.The House of the Spirits: A Novel
  6. jinx
    an evil spell
    Roberts insisted he did not believe in jinxes.Los Angeles Times (Sep 8, 2017)
  7. kismet
    fate or fortune
    "Such a chain of circumstances almost makes one believe in kismet," I sighed.Ford, Paul Leicester
  8. occult
    supernatural forces and events and beings collectively
    Age and experience had sharpened Clara’s ability to divine the occult and to move objects from afar.The House of the Spirits: A Novel
  9. omen
    a sign of a thing about to happen
    It’s all right not to believe in luck and omens.Cannery Row
  10. paranormal
    not in accordance with or able to be explained by science
    There are many tales of the paranormal, but an often-reported phenomenon is that of the invisible apparition.BBC (Nov 6, 2014)
  11. phenomenon
    any state or process known through the senses
    The tendency to attribute meaning to phenomena governed only by chance is ubiquitous.Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences
  12. phobia
    an anxiety disorder characterized by irrational fear
    Certain obsessive ideas and idiosyncracies of his, closely bordering upon phobia, would seem to indicate grave psychic disorder.Heller, Otto
  13. providence
    prudence and care exercised in the management of resources
    It is all luck, or providence, depending on what you believe.Allegiant
  14. subconscious
    just below the level of awareness
    It was as if my subconscious was speaking to me about everything that I kept penned up inside of me.The Freedom Writers Diary
  15. supernatural
    not able to be explained by physical laws
    The ancients were convinced that dreams were usually supernatural.Lecky, William Edward Hartpole
  16. superstition
    an irrational belief arising from ignorance or fear
    “They are only bedtime stories — it is superstition, nothing more.”Ash
  17. oracle
    an authoritative person who divines the future
    In many of the larger monasteries, too, they have oracles who are consulted far and wide and supposed to be able to foretell the future.Howard-Bury, Charles Kenneth
  18. prophecy
    a prediction uttered under divine inspiration
    There was this prophecy that said when I turned sixteen, bad things would happen.The Last Olympian
  19. talisman
    a trinket thought to be a magical protection against evil
    Sometimes, lion teeth and claws are used as talismans and lion paw bones feature in healers’ divination sets, she said.Seattle Times (Feb 4, 2017)
  20. amulet
    a trinket thought to be a magical protection against evil
    At one point, the Roman Empire directed those suffering from fever to wear amulets inscribed with “abracadabra” to ward off the disease.Washington Post (Sep 28, 2017)

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.