thau·​ma·​tur·​gy ˈthȯ-mə-ˌtər-jē How to pronounce thaumaturgy (audio)
: the performance of miracles
specifically : magic

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Thaumaturgy Has Greek Roots

The magic of thaumaturgy is miraculous. The word, from a Greek word meaning "miracle working," is applicable to any performance of miracles, especially by incantation. It can also be used of things that merely seem miraculous and unexplainable, like the thaumaturgy of a motion picture's illusions (aka "movie magic"), or the thaumaturgy at work in an athletic team's "miracle" comeback. In addition to thaumaturgy, we also have thaumaturge and thaumaturgist, both of which mean "a performer of miracles" or "a magician," and the adjective thaumaturgic, meaning "performing miracles" or "of, relating to, or dependent on thaumaturgy."

Examples of thaumaturgy in a Sentence

a macabre tale about a woman who uses thaumaturgy to bring her dead lover back to life

Word History


borrowed from Late Greek thaumatourgía "working of wonders or miracles," going back to Greek, "performance of wonders (as conjuring tricks or acrobatics)," from thaumatourgós "performer of wonders (as an acrobat)" + -ia -y entry 2 — more at thaumaturge

First Known Use

circa 1727, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of thaumaturgy was circa 1727


Dictionary Entries Near thaumaturgy

Cite this Entry

“Thaumaturgy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

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