A miracle, derived from the old Latin word miraculum meaning "something wonderful", is a striking interposition of divine intervention by a supernatural being in the universe by which the ordinary course and operation of Nature is overruled, suspended, or modified.
Although many religious texts and people confirm witnessing or prophesying various events which they refer to as "miraculous", it is disputed whether there are scientifically confirmed occurrences of miracles. One notable aspect of these miracles is that they almost invariably manifest themselves to small groups of individuals or we only have hearsay evidence of their occurrence.
People in different faiths have substantially different definitions of the word "miracle". Even within a specific religion there is often more than one usage of the term.
Sometimes the term "miracle" may refer to the action of a supernatural being that is not a god. Thus, the term "divine intervention", by contrast, would refer specifically to the direct involvement of a deity.
In casual usage, "miracle" may also refer to any statistically unlikely but beneficial event, (such as the survival of a natural disaster) or even to anything which is regarded as "wonderful" regardless of its likelihood, such as birth. Other miracles might be: survival of a fatal illness, escaping a life threatening situation or 'beating the odds'.