oc·​cult | \ ə-ˈkəlt How to pronounce occult (audio) , ä- \
occulted; occulting; occults

Definition of occult

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

: to shut off from view or exposure : cover, eclipse the light of a star that was about to be occulted … by Uranus itself— Jonathan Eberhart


oc·​cult | \ ə-ˈkəlt How to pronounce occult (audio) , ä-; ˈä-ˌkəlt How to pronounce occult (audio) \

Definition of occult (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : not revealed : secret deep subterranean occult jealousy— J. C. Powys
2 : not easily apprehended or understood : abstruse, mysterious occult matters like nuclear physics, radiation effects and the designing of rockets— Robert Bendiner
3 : hidden from view : concealed occult underground passages
4 : of or relating to the occult … the occult arts—astrology, palmistry, card reading …— Amy Fine Collins occult practices
5 : not manifest or detectable by clinical methods alone occult carcinoma also : not present in macroscopic amounts occult blood in a stool


\ ə-ˈkəlt How to pronounce occult (audio) , ä-; ˈä-ˌkəlt How to pronounce occult (audio) \

Definition of occult (Entry 3 of 3)

: matters regarded as involving the action or influence of supernatural or supernormal powers or some secret knowledge of them used with the

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Other Words from occult


occulter noun


occultly adverb

Examples of occult in a Sentence

Verb occulted their house from prying eyes by planting large trees around it the actor's private life had long been occulted by a contrived public persona Adjective occult practices such as magic and fortune-telling He began to believe he had occult powers.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In July, 2017, the object occulted a star, and telescopes observed its tiny shadow passing across the star. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "The soon-to-be-famous object at the Solar System’s edge needs a name," 7 Nov. 2017 And for some lucky sky-watchers in eastern Brazil and in central and southern Africa, the moon will occult the star. National Geographic, "Spring Meteor Shower and 6 More Sky Events in May," 1 May 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But all of the props, vintage occult books and divination tools have value, probably for someone on your list. Trevor Fraser, orlandosentinel.com, "Gift the weird from Prometheus Esoterica," 27 Nov. 2019 Read up on occult literature at Wicked Good Books and stock up on steampunk home decor at Emporium 32. Nico Amarca, Marie Claire, "How to Spend 24 Hours in Salem, Massachusetts," 21 Oct. 2019 Of course, witchcraft, Wicca, and the occult never really went away. Wired, "Trump's Presidency Has Spawned a New Generation of Witches," 30 Oct. 2019 Curioporium, a curiosity shop focusing on occult and esoteric items, opened just last year. Susan Dunne, courant.com, "A early peek at Open Studio Hartford: Meet six of the artists and their artwork," 4 Nov. 2019 Many evangelicals, in their own description, see the holiday as a celebration of the occult, often viewed in their religious worldview as connected to a very literal Satan. CNN, "A brief history of poisoned Halloween candy panic," 30 Oct. 2019 The video appears to show some kind of occult ritual being performed on CERN's campus that culminates in a human sacrifice. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "CERN Scientists Under Investigation After Fake Human Sacrifice," 18 Aug. 2016 In each structure, expect to find different occult experiences, from tarot to astrology readings led by Los Angeles mystics, including the astrologer and tarot card reader Natalia Benson. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Get Your Tarot Cards Read at Mother's Mystical NYC Pop-Up," 13 Sep. 2019 The special event will include rune readings by Ashley Klich, occult costuming, flowers, DJ sets and specialty cocktails and beer. Adam Lukach, chicagotribune.com, "Bears block party and a ‘Parks and Rec’ pop-up bar — here are 5 things to do in Chicago this weekend," 29 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'occult.' 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 occult


15th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1513, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1888, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for occult


in part back-formation from occultation, in part continuing Middle English occulten "to keep secret, conceal," borrowed from Latin occultāre "to prevent from being seen, conceal, keep secret," frequentative derivative of occulere "to hide from view, conceal" — more at occult entry 2


borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, borrowed from Latin occultus "hidden from sight, secret, esoteric," from past participle of occulere "to hide from view, conceal," from oc-, assimilated variant of ob- ob- + -culere, from a verb base *cel- "hide," going back to Indo-European *ḱel- "cover, conceal" — more at conceal


noun derivative of occult entry 2

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Time Traveler for occult

Time Traveler

The first known use of occult was in the 15th century

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Statistics for occult

Cite this Entry

“Occult.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/occult?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=o&file=occult03. Accessed 14 December 2019.

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More Definitions for occult


How to pronounce occult (audio) How to pronounce occult (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of occult

: of or relating to supernatural powers or practices


oc·​cult | \ ə-ˈkəlt How to pronounce occult (audio) , ˈäk-ˌəlt How to pronounce occult (audio) \

Medical Definition of occult

: not manifest or detectable by clinical methods alone occult carcinoma also : not present in macroscopic amounts occult blood in a stool specimen fecal occult blood testing — compare gross sense 1b

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More from Merriam-Webster on occult

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for occult

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with occult

Spanish Central: Translation of occult

Nglish: Translation of occult for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of occult for Arabic Speakers

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