apo·​tro·​pa·​ic | \ ˌa-pə-trō-ˈpā-ik How to pronounce apotropaic (audio) \

Definition of apotropaic

: designed to avert evil an apotropaic ritual

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Other Words from apotropaic

apotropaically \ ˌa-​pə-​trō-​ˈpā-​ə-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce apotropaically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of apotropaic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The logic of substitution is common to folk magic around the world and might have been central to apotropaic magic, too. Geoff Manaugh, The New Yorker, "Witch Houses of the Hudson Valley," 31 Oct. 2019 The witches’ marks, also known as apotropaic marks, are ritual protection symbols carved to protect against witchcraft. Fox News, "Mysterious hidden 'witches’ marks' revealed," 31 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apotropaic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of apotropaic

1883, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for apotropaic

Greek apotrópaios "averting evil, that should be averted, ill-omened" (from apotrop-, stem in nominal derivation of apotrépein "to turn away from, turn aside, avert" —from apo- apo- + trépein "to turn"— + -aios, adjective suffix) + -ic entry 1 — more at trope

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Time Traveler for apotropaic

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The first known use of apotropaic was in 1883

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Cite this Entry

“Apotropaic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apotropaic. Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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