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

Examples of witchcraft in a Sentence

taught all of her daughters witchcraft
Recent Examples on the Web Both Stephen and Wong suspect witchcraft is behind this particular attack. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 3 May 2022 During the sermon, Locke made no apologies for speaking about demons and witchcraft. Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2022 Accusations of devil worship and witchcraft in some instances became a means to settle scores or obtain land. James Hookway, WSJ, 9 Mar. 2022 Historians say the bulk of witchcraft executions in Spain took place in the northeast region, where some of Europe’s first witch trials were held, in 1471. James Hookway, WSJ, 27 Jan. 2022 In another episode, Locke expelled a couple from his church, accusing them of witchcraft. Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2022 And even some potential heroes—such as Mary Bliss Parsons, a distant ancestor in New England once accused of witchcraft—turn out to be far from any kind of role model. Colin Dickey, The New Republic, 21 Mar. 2022 In 1531, Henry VIII sat on the throne of England, silk was an exotic fabric for Europeans and a person accused of witchcraft could be burned at the stake. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, 18 Mar. 2022 Did Patrizia Reggiani’s psychic friend Pina Auriemma practice witchcraft? Not exactly. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, 27 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of witchcraft

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near witchcraft

witch cake


witch doctor

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Statistics for witchcraft

Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Witchcraft.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/witchcraft. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for witchcraft


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

Kids Definition of witchcraft

: the use of sorcery or magic

More from Merriam-Webster on witchcraft

Nglish: Translation of witchcraft for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of witchcraft for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about witchcraft


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