sor·​cery | \ ˈsȯr-sə-rē How to pronounce sorcery (audio) , ˈsȯrs-rē\

Definition of sorcery

1 : the use of power gained from the assistance or control of evil spirits especially for divining : necromancy

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Examples of sorcery in a Sentence

in olden times people suspected of sorcery were often put to death

Recent Examples on the Web

One was famed for a type of poison trees, kalaipahoa; another for its anti-chief sorcery. Wade Graham, Smithsonian, "Why Molokai, With All Its Wonders, Is the Least Developed of Hawai’i’s Islands," 31 Aug. 2019 In this imagining of the story, sorcery, magic spells and dangerous potions share everyday life with household tasks, stitching, making stew, tending the cows. Michael Phillips,, "‘The Juniper Tree’ review: When the Brothers Grimm traveled to Iceland, with Bjork," 10 July 2019 To enact this shift in character solely by taking out punctuation struck me as sorcery. The New Yorker, "Toni Morrison, Remembered By Writers," 10 Aug. 2019 Red Sonja is based on the 1970s comic book spin-off to Conan the Barbarian, and follows the swords-and-sorcery heroine who was given powers by a goddess. Rachel Yang,, "Red Sonja director Jill Soloway likens film to Deadpool, The Dark Knight," 28 July 2019 This Irish native, accused by her stepchildren of performing witchcraft in 1324, was the first in the country to be tried for sorcery as a heretic. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "50 Best Witch Names to Upgrade Your Halloween Costume," 18 July 2019 By some act of skin-care sorcery, the thick cream feels weightless and gives even the flakiest, driest skin a delightfully dewy finish. Devon Abelman, Allure, "I Get So Many Compliments on My Skin When I Wear This SPF-Spiked Moisturizer," 17 July 2019 And finally there was Scott Dixon, who through some combination of sorcery and strategy managed to go from being a backmarker all race to closing the gap to Newgarden in the final stint and finishing second. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Mother Nature plays part in helping make IndyCar in Iowa 'well worth the wait'," 21 July 2019 For practicing witches, Yemaya has a fierce, nurturing, gentle energy often associated with the moon and sorcery. Amber C. Snider, Teen Vogue, "The History of Yemaya, Santeria's Queenly Ocean Goddess Mermaid," 9 July 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sorcery

Middle English sorcerie, from Anglo-French, from sorcer sorcerer, from Medieval Latin sortiarius, from Latin sort-, sors chance, lot — more at series

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Statistics for sorcery

Last Updated

8 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for sorcery

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

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More Definitions for sorcery



English Language Learners Definition of sorcery

: the use of magical powers that are obtained through evil spirits


sor·​cery | \ ˈsȯr-sə-rē How to pronounce sorcery (audio) \
plural sorceries

Kids Definition of sorcery

: the use of magic : witchcraft

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Comments on sorcery

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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