witch·​ing | \ ˈwi-chiŋ How to pronounce witching (audio) \

Definition of witching

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the practice of witchcraft : sorcery



Definition of witching (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or suitable for sorcery or supernatural occurrences the very witching time of night— William Shakespeare

Examples of witching in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The witching hour of Halloween conjures up images goblins, costumes, and jack-o-lanterns and a real-life Houston Halloween tale which is far more sinister. Alison Medley, Houston Chronicle, "'Man Who Ruined Halloween': Recounting the horror story of Houston's notorious 'Candyman'," 31 Oct. 2019 Friday also marks what is known as quadruple witching, the simultaneous expiration of futures and options on stocks and indexes. Anneken Tappe, CNN, "Dow opens higher, but remains on track to finish the week down," 20 Sep. 2019 That is the witching hour when thousands of solar-powered glass orbs on stems, created by the artist Bruce Munro, enfold visitors in an earthbound aurora borealis of shifting hues. Patricia Leigh Brown, New York Times, "A Light Safari in Wine Country," 15 Sep. 2019 In September, quad witching coincided with major changes to several popular ETFs pegged to sector indexes. Asjylyn Loder, WSJ, "Traders Prep for ‘Quad Witching’ Amid Market Gains," 21 June 2019 Dousing, or water witching as it is known in America, has no basis in scientific fact. The Economist, "Using AI to trace leaking pipes," 26 Apr. 2018 As October nears its festive end, the witching hour descends upon us yet again. Marjua Estevez, Billboard, "The Brujas Playlist: 11 Bewitching Latin Songs for Halloween," 24 Oct. 2017 Nothing is more relaxing after a day of witching than to sit with Madame Stephany and her fabulous mediums in the musty parlor of her Bona Thompson mansion, munching on sweets and sipping her special brew. Staff Reports, Indianapolis Star, "7 things Eastside witches love about the Irvington Halloween Festival," 20 Oct. 2017 These are witching-hour, don't-tell-your-mom-what-we-do kind of rhythms. Kat Bein, Billboard, "SNBRN & Strange Club Serve Up Grade-A Organic Booty House on 'Melrose': Premiere," 14 Sep. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Sabrina’s known to don a preppy red peacoat and a black headband; her witching rivals, the Weird Sisters, have coordinating long-sleeve tea dresses with lace Peter Pan collars. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Why The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Is the Perfect Last-Minute Halloween Costume Inspiration," 25 Oct. 2018 Both games also came down to a pair of clutch hits at what appeared to be the witching hour for the depleted bullpen and featured terrific defense. Peter Schmuck, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles show some playoff-hunt mettle with another marathon win against Blue Jays," 3 Sep. 2017 The average Trump supporter’s concern about Russia roughly matches his concern about the president’s unreleased tax returns or witching-hour tweets. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, "The President’s Base vs. the Republican Party," 18 July 2017

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

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Statistics for witching

Last Updated

11 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Witching.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/witching. Accessed 6 December 2019.

More from Merriam-Webster on witching

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for witching

Nglish: Translation of witching for Spanish Speakers

Comments on witching

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


very cautious or careful

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