early 13c., from Old French mireoir "a reflecting glass, looking glass; observation, model, example," earlier miradoir (11c.), from mirer "look at" (oneself in a mirror), "observe, watch, contemplate," from Vulgar Latin *mirare "to look at," variant of Latin mirari "to wonder at, admire" (see miracle). Figurative usage is attested from c.1300. Used in divination since classical and biblical times; mirrors in modern England are the subject of at least 14 known superstitions, according to folklorists. Belief that breaking one brings bad luck is attested from 1777. The Spanish cognate, mirador (from mirar "to look, look at, behold"), has come to mean "watch tower." Mirror ball attested from 1968.