American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The act, practice, or ceremony of exorcising.
- n. A formula used in exorcising.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The act or process of expelling evil spirits by conjurations and religious or magical ceremonies; a conjuration or ceremony employed for this purpose. Exorcism has been practised in all times wherever a belief has existed in literal demoniacal possession. In the Roman Catholic and Greek churches it is used in the baptism of both adults and infants, in the consecration of water, salt, oil, etc., and in specific cases of individuals supposed to be possessed by evil spirits. Exorcism in baptism is still retained also in some Lutheran churches.
- n. The act of, or formula used in, raising the devil or other spirit.
- n. the ritual act of driving out supposed evil spirits from persons, places or things who are possessed by them.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The act of exorcising; the driving out of evil spirits from persons or places by conjuration; also, the form of conjuration used.
- n. rare Conjuration for raising spirits.
- n. freeing from evil spirits
“The Church of England does not use the term exorcism, but it does have a Deliverance Ministry with a cleric on standby in each of its 43 diocese to cast out evil spirits if required to do so.”
“I just watched the Palin exorcism ... what a whack job!”
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“Their sorceries; they have their charms, and magic arts, and rites in exorcism and other things.”
“To believe in exorcism, you’d probably have to believe that a powerful evil entity exists, and that said entity would take it upon itself totake over a person’s body.”
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