sor·​cery ˈsȯr-sə-rē How to pronounce sorcery (audio)
: the use of power gained from the assistance or control of evil spirits especially for divining : necromancy

Examples of sorcery in a Sentence

in olden times people suspected of sorcery were often put to death
Recent Examples on the Web Doctors faced the risk of being lumped together with those who dealt in sorcery and pagan folklore, a real possibility given that the men who composed the Greek medical canon were pagans themselves. Discover Magazine, 7 Nov. 2023 The book opens with an ambivalent turn of sorcery, a conjuring act that is also an exorcism. Jess Bergman, The New Yorker, 8 Nov. 2023 Here, cosmetic chemists demystify the sorcery behind them. Devon Abelman, Allure, 31 Aug. 2023 Despite being a Disney series, the show was known for darker thematic material and its sword and sorcery storylines combined with sci-fi and other elements. Joe Otterson, Variety, 16 Oct. 2023 North Brother Island in the East River becomes a locus of sorcery and enchantment; the nurseries and playgrounds of infanthood attain the same level of magic and dread by association. Phillip MacIak, The New Republic, 7 Sep. 2023 In an attempt to reclaim his professional standing, Strange travels to a monastery in Kathmandu, where resident mystics are rumored to have mastered sorcery. Wired, WIRED, 18 Jan. 2023 The theatrical fastbreaks and Johnson's Spalding sorcery to zip a pass to a teammate without looking that defined the Lakers' '80s dynasty has only been seen in spurts over the first two seasons. Keith Nelson, Men's Health, 29 Aug. 2023 With his soon-to-be wife and unborn child in tow, Koffi’s arrival sets in motion a sprawling, nightmarish and psychedelic fairy tale about ancestry, belief, wrestling, witchcraft and sorcery in Africa today. Manori Ravindran, Variety, 27 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sorcery.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near sorcery

Cite this Entry

“Sorcery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


sor·​cery ˈsȯrs-(ə-)rē How to pronounce sorcery (audio)
: the use of powers gotten with the help of or by the control of evil spirits : witchcraft

More from Merriam-Webster on sorcery

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