Middle English pawmestry, probably from paume palm + maistrie mastery
First Known Use: 15th century
Reading of an individual's character and divination of the future by interpreting lines on the palm of the hand. Palmistry may have originated in ancient India, and it was probably from their original Indian home that the traditional fortune-telling of the Gypsies was derived. It was also practiced in China, Tibet, Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and ancient Greece. In medieval Europe it was used to discover witches, who were thought to have pigmentation spots as signs of a pact with the devil. Though palmistry is still practiced, there is no known scientific basis for it.