mag·​ic | \ˈma-jik \

Definition of magic 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the use of means (such as charms or spells) believed to have supernatural power over natural forces

b : magic rites or incantations

2a : an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source Both pitchers, although they are older, haven't lost their magic.

b : something that seems to cast a spell : enchantment all the mystery, magic and romance which belong to royalty alone— J. E. P. Grigg

3 : the art of producing illusions by sleight of hand entertained with acts of jugglery and magic



Definition of magic (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : of or relating to magic

2a : having seemingly supernatural qualities or powers

b : giving a feeling of enchantment


magicked; magicking

Definition of magic (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to produce, remove, or influence by magic

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Other Words from magic


magical \ ˈma-​ji-​kəl \ adjective
magically \ -​ji-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of magic in a Sentence


children who believe in magic a book that explains how to do magic Both pitchers, though they are older, haven't lost their magic.


a magic potion that makes you able to fly There is no magic solution to these problems.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Including over 50 exquisitely crafted Spiffy puppets and fascinating backstage footage, Spiffy Pictures offers exciting insights into the magic of contemporary puppet production for television. Courant Community, "Community News For The Windham Edition," 10 July 2018 Dumbo will be brought to the screen through the magic of CG technology. Omar Sanchez, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Dumbo': Everything to Know About Disney's Live-Action Remake Directed by Tim Burton," 27 June 2018 The magic of new businesses in old buildings Desert Viking Development started 20 years ago and is well-known for its adaptive reuse projects across the Valley, especially National Register Historic properties. Kellie Hwang, azcentral, "'Let's go downtown': How Chandler's restaurant, bar scene helped transform city," 26 June 2018 There are painted-on brows that anyone would swear are real, and people re-inventing their whole bone structure through the magic of contouring. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "The 10 Best Cream Eyeshadows of the Hundreds I've Tested," 22 June 2018 There’s some argument to be made that higher SPF ratings (over 30) can be less effective than that magic SPF 30, just because people tend to use less of them and apply them less often. Nicole Spector /, NBC News, "How to prevent and treat a sunburn," 9 July 2018 That's because, in addition to the magic of Diana's personal style (made in part by her stylist, British Vogue's Anna Harvey), fashion is currently obsessed with the vibes of the '80 and '90s., "20 Years Later, Fashion Is Still Obsessed With Princess Diana," 1 July 2018 That magic draws us to the practice but also makes us overzealous. Crystal Martin, New York Times, "Exfoliation Tips for the Best Skin Ever," 25 June 2018 Big-name device makers are looking closely at the technologies running on their most successful hardware offerings and finding ways to incorporate that magic into the rest of their products. Lauren Goode, WIRED, "A New Era of Frankensoftware Is Upon Us," 13 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Speaking of batteries, three seems to be the magic number: two big ones for long days (an Anker PowerCore 20100 and a Tronsmart Presto 10000) and a small Jackery bar that recharges much faster than the other two. Jada Yuan, New York Times, "How Do You Pack for a Yearlong Trip?," 27 June 2018 In the past decade, three has been the magic number in IndyCar. Jim Ayello, USA TODAY, "After Road America win, could Josef Newgarden be poised for another IndyCar title run?," 24 June 2018 In the past decade, three has been the magic number in IndyCar, as no champion has claimed the crown with fewer victories. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Newgarden strikes back at Road America ... the sequel better than the original," 24 June 2018 The magic number, the tipping point, turned out to be 25 percent. David Noonan, Scientific American, "The 25% Revolution—How Big Does a Minority Have to Be to Reshape Society?," 8 June 2018 On Thursday afternoon those two-dozen Republicans were nearing that magic number to partner with Democrats and force a vote for the Dreamers, using what is called a discharge petition. Philip Elliott, Time, "Why Republicans Can't Agree on Immigration," 7 June 2018 By the time the deadline for ratifications passed in 1982, approvals had slowed to a trickle and stopped short of the magic number. Aj Willingham, CNN, "Only one more state needs to pass the Equal Rights Amendment to finally get it ratified. Here are the 13 that haven't," 31 May 2018 The organization says there's no magic number on how much screen time kids should have and cautions that imposing limits ignores potential benefits. CBS News, "Why many Silicon Valley parents are curbing their kids' tech time," 30 May 2018 At 6 feet 4 and known for lumbering about with his bald head down in thought, Gibson cut a formidable figure in the newsroom, an image that belied his compassion for reporters and knack for magic tricks. Corina Knoll,, "Bob Gibson, former L.A. Times foreign editor, dies at 89," 23 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

It’s hard to see how wanting to magic away their beliefs is compatible with an expansive vision of tolerance that would bring ideological balance to secular universities. Alan Levinovitz, Slate Magazine, "Today’s political climate doesn’t require more tolerance. It requires less.," 20 Mar. 2017 Brewers’ efforts to magic up a new daypart for beer come as sales of the beverage are falling, both in the U.S. and world-wide. Lara O’reilly, WSJ, "CMO Today: WPP Suffers Hack; Brunch Beer; Verizon Pursues Carrier Data Tie-Ups," 28 June 2017

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

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First Known Use of magic


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1906, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for magic


Middle English magique, from Middle French, from Latin magice, from Greek magikē, feminine of magikos Magian, magical, from magos magus, sorcerer, of Iranian origin; akin to Old Persian maguš sorcerer


see magic entry 1

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Statistics for magic

Last Updated

1 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for magic

The first known use of magic was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for magic



English Language Learners Definition of magic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a power that allows people (such as witches and wizards) to do impossible things by saying special words or performing special actions

: tricks that seem to be impossible and that are done by a performer to entertain people

: special power, influence, or skill



English Language Learners Definition of magic (Entry 2 of 2)

: having the power to make impossible things happen : having supernatural power

: involving the skill of doing tricks that seem to be impossible

: capable of producing good results very easily


mag·​ic | \ˈma-jik \

Kids Definition of magic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the power to control natural forces possessed by certain persons (as wizards and witches) in folk tales and fiction

2 : the art or skill of performing tricks or illusions for entertainment

3 : a power that seems mysterious The team lost its magic.

4 : something that charms They calmed us with the magic of their singing.



Kids Definition of magic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : having or seeming to have the power to make impossible things happen She chanted the magic words.

2 : of or relating to the power to make impossible things happen magic tricks

3 : giving a feeling of enchantment It was a magic moment.

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Comments on magic

What made you want to look up magic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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