warlock

EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

  • warluck (uncommon, chiefly dialectal, largely obsolete)
  • warlow (obsolete)

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English warloghe, warlowe, warloȝe, from Old English wǣrloga (traitor, deceiver, literally truce-breaker), from wǣr (covenant, truce, pact, promise) (from Proto-Indo-European *weh₁- (true); whence also Latin vērus) + loga (liar), from Proto-Germanic *lugô, related to Old English lēogan (whence English lie). The hard -ck ending originated in Scottish and Northern English, like the sense "male magic-user" (from the notion that such men were in league with the Devil and had thus broken their baptismal vows / betrayed Christianity). Cognate with Old High German wārlogo (truce-breaker, traitor).

A few writers alternatively propose derivation from Old Norse varðlokkur (caller of spirits),[1] but as the OED notes, this is implausible due to the extreme rarity of the Norse word and because forms without hard -k, which are consistent with the Old English etymology (“traitor”), are attested earlier than forms with -k,[2] and forms with -ð- are not attested.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

warlock (plural warlocks)

  1. A male magic-user; a male witch.
    • 1730, Edward Burt, Letters from a Gentleman in the North of Scotland:
      He was himself a warlock, or wizard, which they knew by his taking the witch's part.
    • 1902, John Buchan, The Outgoing of the Tide
      It was the day of warlocks and apparitions, now happily driven out by the zeal of the General Assembly.

Usage notesEdit

  • Because of its etymology, the term is not used by some male witches, who prefer other terms like witch instead.[3][4][5]

TranslationsEdit

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AnagramsEdit


ScotsEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English warloghe, warlowe, warloȝe, from Old English wǣrloga (traitor, deceiver, literally truce-breaker), from wǣr (covenant, truce, pact, promise) (from Proto-Indo-European *wēr- (true); compare veritable) + loga (liar), from Proto-Germanic *lugô, related to Old English lēogan (whence English lie).

NounEdit

warlock (plural warlocks)

  1. the Devil
    1. a devil; a fiend
  2. warlock; a man who is thought to be in league with the powers of darkness and to have supernatural knowledge and means of bewitching and harming others
    1. (occasionally) witch
    2. (in a weaker sense) sorcerer, wizard, magician
      • He wis hissel a warlock or a wicht, whit thay kent by thit he teuk 'e witch's pairt.
        He was himself a warlock, or wizard, which they knew by his taking the witch's part.
  3. (attributive, in combination) bewitched, magical, supernatural; malevolent, mischievous
  4. (derogatory) an old, ugly or misanthropic man; a mischievous or troublesome fellow

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