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

Definition of deasil

: clockwise — compare widdershins

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.

First Known Use of deasil

1771, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for deasil

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

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Cite this Entry

“Deasil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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