thaumaturgy

noun
thau·​ma·​tur·​gy | \ ˈthȯ-mə-ˌtər-jē How to pronounce thaumaturgy (audio) \

Definition of thaumaturgy

: the performance of miracles specifically : magic

Keep scrolling for more

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

First Known Use of thaumaturgy

circa 1727, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for thaumaturgy

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about thaumaturgy

Time Traveler for thaumaturgy

Time Traveler

The first known use of thaumaturgy was circa 1727

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about thaumaturgy

Statistics for thaumaturgy

Cite this Entry

“Thaumaturgy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/thaumaturgy. Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.

More from Merriam-Webster on thaumaturgy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thaumaturgy

Comments on thaumaturgy

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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