witch·​craft | \ ˈwich-ˌkraft How to pronounce witchcraft (audio) \

Definition of witchcraft

1a : the use of sorcery or magic
b : communication with the devil or with a familiar
2 : an irresistible influence or fascination
3a : rituals and practices that incorporate belief in magic and that are associated especially with neo-pagan traditions and religions (such as Wicca) Practitioners of Wicca … use the tools … such as the broom (a purifying symbol), the wand, candles, crystals and the knife …. They refer to their practices as witchcraft— Lesley Wright
b or less commonly Witchcraft : a tradition or religion that involves the practice of witchcraft Feminist witchcraft sees women's oppression and environmental abuse, which they argue are intimately linked, as firmly rooted in patriarchal religions.— Wendy Griffin Wicca, which emerged in the 1940s in England, is the original form of modern Pagan Witchcraft.— Meg Yardley

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Examples of witchcraft in a Sentence

taught all of her daughters witchcraft
Recent Examples on the Web The bell sequence is, finally, a parable of the creative process: great art rests on some murky mixture of luck, lies, and witchcraft. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "The Drenching Richness of Andrei Tarkovsky," 8 Feb. 2021 If the streamer really wants in on the world of wizardry and witchcraft, there are plenty of other magical stories that are waiting to be told on the small screen. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "A Harry Potter TV Series? In This Economy?," 25 Jan. 2021 Like the Hittites, people throughout history have turned to the supernatural—gods, witchcraft and demonic possession—to explain illnesses that today would likely be diagnosed as FND. Diana Kwon, Scientific American, "Decoding a Disorder at the Interface of Mind and Brain," 1 Nov. 2020 Hundreds of years later, misperception around witchcraft still circulates. Joseph Prezioso, National Geographic, "Witch hunt tourism is lucrative. It also obscures a tragic history," 23 Oct. 2020 There’s the smart update on the material that wants to dig into heteropatriarchy as so threatened by a little light witchcraft. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, "Indie Focus: Government at work in ‘City Hall’," 30 Oct. 2020 Set in Salem, Massachusetts, Hocus Pocus starts off in the year 1693, when three evil witches, a.k.a. Winifred, Sarah and Mary Sanderson, are about to be executed for witchcraft. Isabelle Kagan, USA TODAY, "How to watch Hocus Pocus," 21 Oct. 2020 Picking the Vikings to win at Chicago in prime time goes against whatever witchcraft the Bears have been using the past 16 years or so. Mark Craig, Star Tribune, "Mark Craig's Week 10 NFL picks against the spread," 12 Nov. 2020 Abramovic has been the subject of conspiracy theories surrounding witchcraft dating back to PizzaGate in October 2016. Devon Link, USA TODAY, "Fact check: There is no evidence to support claims that Lady Gaga is a witch," 4 Nov. 2020

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for witchcraft

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The first known use of witchcraft was before the 12th century

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Statistics for witchcraft

Last Updated

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Witchcraft.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/witchcraft. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for witchcraft



English Language Learners Definition of witchcraft

: magical things that are done by witches : the use of magical powers obtained especially from evil spirits


witch·​craft | \ ˈwich-ˌkraft How to pronounce witchcraft (audio) \

Kids Definition of witchcraft

: the use of sorcery or magic

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