mag·​ic | \ ˈma-jik How to pronounce magic (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Festivities continued at Memory Square Park for the Labor Day Fall Festival that featured vendor booths, pie contests, magic shows, and food trucks. Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post, "PHOTOS: 84th annual Labor Day parade in Louisville," 2 Sep. 2019 In Tolkien’s world, Gandalf’s magic might only need a whisper. William Herkewitz, Popular Mechanics, "Why D&D Modernized Its Magic for a New Generation of Fantasy," 1 Sep. 2019 Two stoners get into Harvard University after magic marijuana enables them to ace their tests. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 1 - 7, 2019: John Wayne in ‘The Searchers’ and more," 30 Aug. 2019 The victory pulled the Saints even with the RedHawks for the North Division lead and lowered their magic number to clinch a playoff spot to one. John Shipley, Twin Cities, "Team-record seven HRs help Saints rally for 10 late runs and beat Fargo-Moorhead," 29 Aug. 2019 The acts ranged from original poetry reading to family skits, singers, instrumentals and magic acts. Joan Rusek,, "Neighborhood talent show mixes fashion, talent and rain for back to school send-off: Valley Views," 23 Aug. 2019 The first casting announcement came a few weeks back — Rosamund Pike as Moiraine, a mysterious woman from a group of all-female magic wielders called the Aes Sedai, who serves as a mentor for the young heroes. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Amazon’s Wheel of Time show has a cast of unknowns, which suggests its big ambitions," 14 Aug. 2019 Sarah Rose Etter’s The Book of X, from the magic makers at Two Dollar Radio. Seija Rankin,, "What's in a Page: Why Courtney Maum stopped everything to write Costalegre," 13 Aug. 2019 There is no magic solution to creating local jobs, but as one examines case studies of what has worked, some key factors emerge. Raghuram Rajan, Quartz India, "How Indians cleaned up one of their dirtiest cities—and have kept it that way," 12 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The issue, called Marvel 1000, devotes one page to each year of Marvel’s history with a mix of serious and humorous stories, like Dr. Strange’s struggle has to keep his magic cape smelling fresh. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Marvel celebrates 80th anniversary with massive comic," 28 Aug. 2019 Ray Adams knew his magic act had taken a dark turn when the 5-year-old slapped the rabbit right out of his hand. René A. Guzman,, "Magicians coming to San Antonio share stories of shattered illusions," 26 Aug. 2019 But probably most of all, it's brought us together—not just the magic moments, but the tricky bits, and having to learn a new way to live. Oliver Pilcher, Condé Nast Traveler, "How One Family Swapped a Hectic, Tech-Filled Schedule for Low-Key Beach Life," 23 Aug. 2019 Nine times out of 10, my lovely assistant for this magic act of zhuzh is a trusty spray bottle filled with warm water and a few pumps of conditioner, but this combination isn’t always super practical, and definitely has its drawbacks. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "This Dry Shampoo Spray is a Godsend for Second Day Curls," 16 Aug. 2019 Today the magic formula has many parts: openness to people and capital, the time zone, proximity to subsea data cables, and posh schools. The Economist, "Can the City survive Brexit?," 27 June 2019 As such, their success offers an instructive object lesson for up-and-comers seeking a magic formula to make it in the music business. Dan Deluca,, "Are Parquet Courts the best American indie rock band of the decade?," 1 June 2018 Maybe the recent success of Derby favorites is more cyclical than paradigm-shifting; more indicative of a run of superior horses than some magic formula. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "When favorites like Justify win, so does everyone else involved," 7 May 2018 There is no magic formula for the Pacers that will jump-start Oladipo. Clifton Brown, Indianapolis Star, "James dominating Pacers, while Oladipo searches for answers," 26 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The editor tried to magic away the controversy by claiming that the essay had been intended as satire, an obvious lie. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "The New Republic’s Mayor Pete Problem," 16 July 2019 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.

See More

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

Noun and Adjective

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

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce magic (audio) \

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on magic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with magic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for magic

Spanish Central: Translation of magic

Nglish: Translation of magic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of magic for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about magic

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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!