apo·​tro·​pa·​ic ˌa-pə-trō-ˈpā-ik How to pronounce apotropaic (audio)
: designed to avert evil
an apotropaic ritual
apotropaically 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, 31 Oct. 2019 The witches’ marks, also known as apotropaic marks, are ritual protection symbols carved to protect against witchcraft. Fox News, 31 Oct. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'apotropaic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1883, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of apotropaic was in 1883

Dictionary Entries Near apotropaic

Cite this Entry

“Apotropaic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apotropaic. Accessed 23 May. 2024.

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