- enPR: wĭch, IPA(key): /wɪtʃ/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɪtʃ
- Homophone: which (in accents with the wine-whine merger), wich, wych
From Middle English wicche, from Old English wiċċe (“sorceress, witch”) f. and wicca (“witch, sorcerer, warlock”) m., deverbative from wiccian (“to practice sorcery”), from Proto-Germanic *wikkōną (compare West Frisian wikje, wikke (“to foretell, warn”), Low German wicken (“to soothsay”), Dutch wikken, wichelen (“to dowse, divine”)), from Proto-Indo-European *wik-néh₂-, derivation of *weyk- (“to consecrate; separate”); akin to Latin victima (“sacrificial victim”), Lithuanian viẽkas (“life-force”), Sanskrit विनक्ति (vinákti, “to set apart, separate out”).
witch (plural witches)
- A person who practices witchcraft; a woman or (archaic outside dialects and Wicca) man who practices witchcraft.
- 1485 July 31, Thomas Malory, “Capitulum viij”, in [Le Morte Darthur], book I, [London]: […] [by William Caxton], OCLC 71490786; republished as H[einrich] Oskar Sommer, editor, Le Morte Darthur […], London: Published by David Nutt, […], 1889, OCLC 890162034:
- Some of the kynges had merueyl of Merlyns wordes and demed well that it shold be as he said / And som of hem lough hym to scorne / as kyng Lot / and mo other called hym a wytche / But thenne were they accorded with Merlyn that kynge Arthur shold come oute and speke with the kynges.
- (now usually particularly) A woman who is learned in and actively practices witchcraft.
- c. 1597, William Shakespeare, “The Merry VViues of VVindsor”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene 2]:
- He cannot abide the old woman of Brentford; he swears she's a witch.
- (derogatory) An ugly or unpleasant woman.
- I hate that old witch.
- One who exercises more-than-common power of attraction; a charming or bewitching person.
- One given to mischief, especially a woman or child.
- (geometry) A certain curve of the third order, described by Maria Agnesi under the name versiera.
- The stormy petrel.
- Any of a number of flatfish:
- The Indomalayan butterfly Araotes lapithis, of the family Lycaenidae.
- (person who uses magic): See Thesaurus:magician
- (female magic user): wizardess, sorceress
- (male magic user): wizard, sorcerer, warlock
- (an ugly or unpleasant woman): See Thesaurus:old woman or Thesaurus:ugly woman or Thesaurus:shrew
- Arnoglossus scapha on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- Arnoglossus scapha on Wikispecies.Wikispecies
- Arnoglossus scapha on Wikimedia Commons.Wikimedia Commons
- (obsolete, intransitive) To practise witchcraft.
- (obsolete, transitive) To bewitch.
- 1900, Gilbert Murray, Andromache: A Play in Three Acts:
- She has witched the Queen's womb long ago, and witched the whole harvest.
- (intransitive) To dowse for water.
- 1964, Hilda E. Webb, Water Witching and Other Folk Talents in the Neighborhood of Bloomington, Indiana:
- And I told him there's a vein down there, I know 'caus I used to--uh, I went out here and witched one for this house, at the corner.
- 2006, Helen Ayers, Appalachian Daughter: The Exodus of the Mountaineers from Appalachia:
- Nothing would make him shut up until I brought my dogwood stick into his office and witched for water.
- 2010, C.J. Ott, True Stories: Memories, Musings, Odds and Ends:
- Eventually, Don and Jim built nice big houses on their lots. We enjoyed watching them being built. I remember Don's builder came out and “witched” for a well.
- ^ Guus Kroonen, Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic (Leiden: Brill, 2013), 586.
witch (plural witches)
From Middle English wicche, from Old English wiċċe (“sorceress, witch”) f. and wicca (“witch, sorcerer”) m., deverbative from wiccian (“to practice sorcery”), from Proto-Germanic *wikkōną (compare West Frisian wikje, wikke (“to foretell, warn”), Low German wicken (“to soothsay”), Dutch wikken, wichelen (“to dowse, divine”)), from Proto-Indo-European *wik-néh₂-, derivation of *weyk- (“to consecrate; separate”); akin to Latin victima (“sacrificial victim”), Lithuanian viẽkas (“life-force”), Sanskrit विनक्ति (vinákti, “to set apart, separate out”).
witch (plural witchs)
- witch; a person, chiefly a woman, skilled in sorcery
- (transferred) various animals, insects and objects in some way associated with witches
- (female magic user): ell-woman, galdragon, gyre carline, hexie, sorceres, wancanny carlin, weird-woman, wise woman, wise wife, witch-carline, witch-queen, witch-wife
- (male magic user): juglour, sorcerar, varlet, warlock, weird
- witch brooch
- witch butterfly
- witch cake
- witches' milk
- witches' needle
- witches' nick
- witches' paps
- witches' spittin
- witch geet
- witch knot
- witch's mark
- witch's nip
- witch's thorn
- witch's whorl
- witch thummles
- witch tree
- (transitive) To harm (a person, etc.) by means of witchcraft; to bewitch, cast a spell on
- (figuratively) To affect or influence as by witchcraft