dea·​sil ˈdē-zəl How to pronounce deasil (audio)

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Deasil Has Scottish Gaelic Roots

According to an old custom, you can bring someone good fortune by walking around the person clockwise three times while carrying a torch or candle. In Scottish Gaelic, the word deiseil is used for the direction one walks in such a luck-bringing ritual. English speakers modified the spelling to deasil, and have used the word to describe clockwise motion in a variety of rituals.

Word History


Scottish Gaelic deiseil, from Middle Irish dessel, from Old Irish dess right, south + sel turn; akin to Latin dexter right hand — more at dexter

First Known Use

1771, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of deasil was in 1771


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Cite this Entry

“Deasil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

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