mag·​ic | \ ˈma-jik How to pronounce magic (audio) \

Essential Meaning of magic

1 : a power that allows people (such as witches and wizards) to do impossible things by saying special words or performing special actions perform/work (feats of) magic children who believe in magic
2 : tricks that seem to be impossible and that are done by a performer to entertain people a book that explains how to do magic
3 : special power, influence, or skill Some doubted the company could ever get back its former magic. [=could ever succeed again as it had succeeded before] Both pitchers, though they are older, haven't lost their magic.

Full Definition of magic

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the use of means (such as charms or spells) believed to have supernatural power over natural forces
b : magic rites or incantations
2a : an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source Both pitchers, although they are older, haven't lost their magic.
b : something that seems to cast a spell : enchantment all the mystery, magic and romance which belong to royalty alone— J. E. P. Grigg
3 : the art of producing illusions by sleight of hand entertained with acts of jugglery and magic



Definition of magic (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : of or relating to magic
2a : having seemingly supernatural qualities or powers
b : giving a feeling of enchantment


magicked; magicking

Definition of magic (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to produce, remove, or influence by magic

Examples of magic in a Sentence

Noun children who believe in magic a book that explains how to do magic Both pitchers, though they are older, haven't lost their magic. Adjective a magic potion that makes you able to fly There is no magic solution to these problems.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In this new special, illusionist Adam Trent puts magic in the hands of everyday people. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, 25 Nov. 2021 Today, Abbey Road Studios is not only making music magic but is also a pilgrimage site for generations of Beatles fans. Zoe Chevalier And Tim Watson, ABC News, 25 Nov. 2021 Preschool letters from Santa: Bring the holiday magic to your little one ages two- to six-years-old with a special delivery from the North Pole., 24 Nov. 2021 The public is encouraged to attend the park lighting ceremony to be held from 4:30-7 p.m. Dec. 1, at which visitors can enjoy refreshments and other holiday festivities prior to watching the park light up with holiday magic at 6:30 p.m. cleveland, 23 Nov. 2021 In turn, that magic has brought new emotional and creative rewards to the rest of Eldredge's career. Nancy Kruh,, 23 Nov. 2021 What was inside that silence was the fact that the previous candor, the words spoken in group years back—not so long, really, but long enough to seem threadbare—had worked magic at that moment in their lives and was now unnecessary. David Means, Harper's Magazine, 23 Nov. 2021 The thing that broke the magic a bit was that immediately afterwards, the moon was deflated and taken to the Eurovision Song Contest and hung above Spain’s entry. Craig Jenkins, Vulture, 23 Nov. 2021 The overall environment of the show, which is scenically designed by Sully Ratke and features magic by Dennis Watkins, is similarly beautiful. Chris Jones,, 23 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Without getting into the statistical nuances of why this is the magic number, the general rule of thumb is that a national survey should have around 1,000 to 1,500 respondents. Kristin Brey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 18 Nov. 2021 It’s part of the magic trick: By controlling the lighting and sight angles, Disney can make its animatronics seem more alive. New York Times, 19 Aug. 2021 Williams doesn't remember saying any magic words, or using some unique team-building exercise to help the Suns regain their footing back then. Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic, 24 June 2021 Thirty-yard touchdown pass to Wilson, an improvised magic trick that required Fields to escape the pocket, scramble left, then set and fire. Dan Wiederer,, 2 May 2021 Never mind that admissions methods that don't rely on standardized test scores are actually often more discriminatory and subject to abuse — magic words spoken, analysis over. Grant Addison, Washington Examiner, 11 Feb. 2021 Amy Adams and @PatrickDempsey are sharing a bit of magic straight from Andalasia! NBC News, 12 Nov. 2021 In the film, a 13-year-old teenager suddenly wakes up as a 30-year-old magazine executive one morning thanks to some magic wishing dust. Alexia Fernández,, 11 Nov. 2021 It was inspired by a concurrent exhibition of magic realist paintings by Marianela de la Hoz that highlight everyday tribulations that arose during the pandemic. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Fragrances are highly evocative of times, places and memories, and can magic up many a Proustian moment. Kristin Larson, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2021 And the shots alone won’t magic away the scars of damaged tissue or the numbing heft of depression brought on by months of sickness. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 25 Mar. 2021 The editor tried to magic away the controversy by claiming that the essay had been intended as satire, an obvious lie. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, 16 July 2019 It’s hard to see how wanting to magic away their beliefs is compatible with an expansive vision of tolerance that would bring ideological balance to secular universities. Alan Levinovitz, Slate Magazine, 20 Mar. 2017 Brewers’ efforts to magic up a new daypart for beer come as sales of the beverage are falling, both in the U.S. and world-wide. Lara O’reilly, WSJ, 28 June 2017

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1906, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for magic

Noun and Adjective

Middle English magique, from Middle French, from Latin magice, from Greek magikē, feminine of magikos Magian, magical, from magos magus, sorcerer, of Iranian origin; akin to Old Persian maguš sorcerer

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Time Traveler for magic

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The first known use of magic was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

29 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Magic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for magic


mag·​ic | \ ˈma-jik How to pronounce magic (audio) \

Kids Definition of magic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the power to control natural forces possessed by certain persons (as wizards and witches) in folk tales and fiction
2 : the art or skill of performing tricks or illusions for entertainment
3 : a power that seems mysterious The team lost its magic.
4 : something that charms They calmed us with the magic of their singing.



Kids Definition of magic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : having or seeming to have the power to make impossible things happen She chanted the magic words.
2 : of or relating to the power to make impossible things happen magic tricks
3 : giving a feeling of enchantment It was a magic moment.

More from Merriam-Webster on magic

Nglish: Translation of magic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of magic for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about magic


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