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 Veracruz is also the center of Mexico’s witchcraft industry, which peaked in the 1950s when a local warlock, Gonzalo Aguirre Pech, became famous enough to add politicians and film stars to his usual clientele of farmers. Emmanuel Ordóñez Angulo, The New York Review of Books, "Deadly Myths," 5 Jan. 2021 At a time when accusations of witchcraft were often punished with death, brewing beer simply became too dangerous for women. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Cheers to Women, the Original Beer Brewers," 11 Mar. 2021 Women accused of witchcraft were often ostracized in their communities, imprisoned or even killed. Laken Brooks, Smithsonian Magazine, "Women Dominated Beer Brewing Until They Were Accused of Being Witches," 8 Mar. 2021 To postpone their execution, a group of women accused of witchcraft lure their inquisitor into witnessing the witches’ Sabbath. Jacob Siegal, BGR, "Everything coming and going on Netflix: Week of March 7th," 7 Mar. 2021 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

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for witchcraft

Last Updated

2 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Witchcraft.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/witchcraft. Accessed 13 Apr. 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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