I've heard this term before, let me provide a context.

Chocolate cake is ______, it is more sweet than anything that occurs in nature and humans are drawn to it naturally because of a desire to have their taste buds stimulated in such a fashion.

It's not merely supernatural which has a connotation of being non-existent, like God.

closed as not a real question by MetaEd, Daniel, Cameron, tchrist, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Oct 4 '12 at 1:50

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    @Luke If we start editing out everything that we find personally offensive, we'll be doing nothing except editing. +1 for freedom of speech. – coleopterist Aug 5 '12 at 11:02
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    @coleopterist Alright how about this: Removed irrelevant portion – American Luke Aug 5 '12 at 18:28
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    Supernatural has nothing to do with nonexistence. Look it up in the dictionary. – American Luke Aug 5 '12 at 18:33
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    let us continue this discussion in chat – American Luke Aug 5 '12 at 19:33
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    After a cooling off period: This post is partly a religious statement disguised as a question. It is factually incorrect that “supernatural has a connotation of being non-existent, like God”. It may be that there are no supernatural things, but the word itself does not connote that. The point of the sentence (and maybe of the whole post) is to make a religious statement, which is off topic. Also, the OP had an answer ready, posted only 11 minutes after the question and described as "the word I'm looking for", which to me suggests the entire question was rhetorical, which is also off topic. – MetaEd Oct 2 '12 at 15:16

The word you are looking for is preternatural, historically on occasion also spelt præternatural. It’s from Medieval Latin præternātūrālis, from the phrase præter nātūram.

From the OED:

That is out of the ordinary course of nature; beyond, surpassing, or differing from what is natural; non-natural; formerly = abnormal, exceptional, unusual; sometimes = unnatural; see also b.

b. Used as = supernatural.

  • For the benefit of others, could you consider adding a definition to support this? – simchona Aug 4 '12 at 18:32
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    and the OED to boot? Awesome. – simchona Aug 4 '12 at 18:34
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    I'm tempted to accept this answer, even though it wasn't the one I was looking for! Well done Captain. Seldom in [single-word-choice] do you get a better answer then the one you were expecting. – Evan Carroll Aug 4 '12 at 18:39

The word I'm looking for is supernormal stimulus, or more specifically hyper-normal stimulus.

Thanks goes out to Dan Dennett who did a video on this.

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    There’s also perverse. – tchrist Aug 4 '12 at 18:48
  • @tchrist you're on fire today. – Evan Carroll Aug 4 '12 at 18:48
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    @tchrist he's on fire every day. – bib Aug 4 '12 at 21:05

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