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Superstition (Latin superstitio, literally "standing over"; derived perhaps from standing in awe; used in Latin as an unreasonable or excessive belief in fear or magic, especially foreign or fantastical ideas, and thus came to mean a "cult" in the Roman empire) is a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge. The word is often used pejoratively to refer to supposedly irrational beliefs of others, and its precise meaning is therefore subjective. It is commonly applied to beliefs and practices surrounding luck, prophecy and spiritual beings, particularly the irrational belief that future events can be influenced or foretold by specific, unrelated behaviours or occurrences.
To medieval scholars the word was applied to any beliefs outside of or in opposition to Christianity; today it is applied to conceptions without foundation in, or in contravention of, scientific and logical knowledge.
Many extant superstitions are said to have originated during the plagues that swept through Europe. According to legend, during the time of a plague, Saint Gregory I the Great ordered that people say "God bless you" when somebody sneezed, to prevent the spread of the dise