Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A woman claiming or popularly believed to possess magical powers and practice sorcery.
  • n. A believer or follower of Wicca; a Wiccan.
  • n. A hag.
  • n. A woman considered to be spiteful or overbearing.
  • n. Informal A woman or girl considered bewitching.
  • n. One particularly skilled or competent at one's craft: "A witch of a writer, [she] is capable of developing an intensity that verges on ferocity” ( Peter S. Prescott).
  • transitive v. To work or cast a spell on; bewitch.
  • transitive v. To cause, bring, or effect by witchcraft.
  • intransitive v. To use a divining rod to find underground water or minerals; dowse.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A man who practises witchcraft.
  • n. A woman who is learned in and actively practices witchcraft.
  • n. An ugly or unpleasant woman.
  • n. A Wiccan.
  • v. To practise witchcraft
  • v. To bewitch
  • n. An Atlantic flatfish, Glyptocephalus cynoglossus; Torbay sole.
  • v. To dowse for water

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A cone of paper which is placed in a vessel of lard or other fat, and used as a taper.
  • n. One who practices the black art, or magic; one regarded as possessing supernatural or magical power by compact with an evil spirit, esp. with the Devil; a sorcerer or sorceress; -- now applied chiefly or only to women, but formerly used of men as well.
  • n. An ugly old woman; a hag.
  • n. One who exercises more than common power of attraction; a charming or bewitching person; also, one given to mischief; -- said especially of a woman or child.
  • n. A certain curve of the third order, described by Maria Agnesi under the name versiera.
  • n. The stormy petrel.
  • n. A Wiccan; an adherent or practitioner of Wicca, a religion which in different forms may be paganistic and nature-oriented, or ditheistic. The term witch applies to both male and female adherents in this sense.
  • transitive v. To bewitch; to fascinate; to enchant.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bewitch; fascinate; enchant.
  • To work by charms or witchcraft; effect, cause, or bring by or as by witchcraft.
  • n. A modified and simplified form of a Jacquard attachment to a loom, for a more limited range of work; a dobby or index-machine.
  • n. A person (of either sex) given to the black art; a sorcerer; a conjurer; a wizard; later and more particularly, a woman supposed to have formed a compact with the devil or with evil spirits, and to be able by their aid to operate supernaturally; one who practises sorcery or enchantment; a sorceress.
  • n. An old, ugly, and crabbed or malignant woman; a hag; a crone: a term of abuse.
  • n. A fascinating woman; a woman, especially a young woman or a girl, possessed of peculiar attractions, whether of beauty or of manners; a bewitching or charming young woman or girl.
  • n. A charm or spell.
  • n. A petrel: doubtless so called from its incessant flight, often kept up in the dark.
  • n. A water-witch.
  • n. The pole, pole-dab, or craigfluke, a kind of flatfish.
  • n. The witch-elm, Ulmus montana.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a being (usually female) imagined to have special powers derived from the devil
  • n. a believer in Wicca
  • v. cast a spell over someone or something; put a hex on someone or something
  • n. an ugly evil-looking old woman
  • n. a female sorcerer or magician

Etymologies

Middle English wicche, from Old English wicce, witch, and wicca, wizard, sorcerer.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Origin unknown. (Wiktionary)
Origin unknown. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • a party of farmers went through a process known by the name of "_burning the witch out_," or "_killing the witch_," as some express it; the person suspected soon died, and the neighbourhood became free from his evil doings.

    Notes and Queries, Number 65, January 25, 1851

  • Rick's choice is Hilary Duff, who starred as the title witch in the comic book movie Casper and Wendy.

    Archive 2005-03-01

  • A few hear are just B.S. artists, and it doesn't take long to ascertain witch is witch.

    Ok, I have read this thing for over a year..............I'm coming anyway!

  • "By the term witch," the Rabbis say, "we are to understand either male or female."

    Hebraic Literature; Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim and Kabbala

  • The term witch, by them, is used both in the masculine and feminine gender, and denotes a person to whom the evil deity has delegated power to inflict diseases, cause death, blast corn, bring bad weather, and in short to cause almost any calamity to which they are liable.

    A Narrative of the Life of Mrs Mary Jemison

  • And the only reason why he did is because he wanted to make it go away, and because of what he called a witch-hunt by the local newspaper here.

    CNN Transcript Aug 29, 2007

  • Armstrong issued a statement slamming what he termed a witch-hunt against him.

    CNN Transcript Jun 1, 2006

  • Kollapen said the commission said a forward-looking approach would achieve more than what he described as a witch-hunt to uncover past mistakes.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Doctors discovered what they called witch-marks, such as moles or callosities of any kind, and after the children or others alleged to have been bewitched had performed the usual contortions, the accused were swiftly convicted.

    The Land We Live In The Story of Our Country

  • People can't believe the intransigence of some in the Church in either denying the problem or refusing to take full responsibility and that is why it is becoming what you describe as a witch hunt.

    Army Rumour Service

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