from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Divination by the use of a suspended sieve sometimes from tongs or shears. The movement of the sieve when a person's name or word is spoken is interpreted.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Divination by means of a suspended sieve.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An old mode of divination, consisting in suspending a sieve, or fixing it to the point of a pair of shears, then repeating a formula of words and the names of persons suspected of some crime or other act. If the sieve moved when a name was repeated, the person named was deemed guilty.
By coscinomancy, most religiously observed of old amidst the ceremonies of the ancient Romans.
As for magic, necromancy, pyromancy, geomancy, coscinomancy, and all the other mancies -- there was then a whole literature about them.
A mode of divination much in vogue in New England as in Old. Called also “sieve and shears” or “riddle and shears”: the learned name is coscinomancy.