follow Dictionary.com

Get the details behind our redesign

wicca

[wik-uh] /ˈwɪk ə/
noun
1.
(sometimes initial capital letter) a nature-oriented religion having rituals and practices derived from pre-Christian religious beliefs and typically incorporating modern witchcraft of a benevolent kind.
See also neopaganism.
Origin
1970-1975
1970-75; < Old English wicca (male) sorcerer (Middle English wicche, modern dial. witch); see witch
Related forms
wiccan, noun, adjective
Can be confused
wicca, wicked.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for wicca

Wicca

/ˈwɪkə/
noun
1.
(sometimes not capital) the cult or practice of witchcraft
Derived Forms
Wiccan, noun, adjective
Word Origin
C20: revival of Old English wicca witch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for wicca
Wicca
An O.E. masc. noun meaning "male witch, wizard, soothsayer, sorcerer, magician;" see witch. Use of the word in modern contexts traces to English folklorist Gerald Gardner (1884-1964), who is said to have joined circa 1939 an occult group in New Forest, Hampshire, England, for which he claimed an unbroken tradition to medieval times. Gardner seems to have first used it in print in 1954, in his book "Witchcraft Today" (e.g.: "Witches were the Wica or wise people, with herbal knowledge and a working occult teaching usually used for good ...."). In published and unpublished material, he apparently only ever used the word as a mass noun referring to adherents of the practice and not as the name of the practice itself. Some of his followers continue to use it in this sense. According to Gardner's book "The Meaning of Witchcraft" (1959), the word, as used in the initiation ceremony, played a key role in his experience:
I realised that I had stumbled upon something interesting; but I was half-initiated before the word, 'Wica' which they used hit me like a thunderbolt, and I knew where I was, and that the Old Religion still existed. And so I found myself in the Circle, and there took the usual oath of secrecy, which bound me not to reveal certain things.
In the late 1960s the term came into use as the title of a modern pagan movement associated with witchcraft. The first printed reference in this usage seems to be 1969, in "The Truth About Witchcraft" by freelance author Hans Holzer:
If the practice of the Old Religion, which is also called Wicca (Craft of the Wise), and thence, witchcraft, is a reputable and useful cult, then it is worthy of public interest.
And, quoting witch Alex Sanders:
"No, a witch wedding still needs a civil ceremony to make it legal. Wicca itself as a religion is not registered yet. But it is about time somebody registered it, I think. I've done all I can to call attention to our religion."
Sanders was a highly visible representative of neo-pagan Witchcraft in the late 1960s and early 1970s. During this time he appears to have popularized use of the term in this sense. Later books c.1989 teaching modernized witchcraft using the same term account for its rise and popularity, especially in U.S.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for wicca

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for wicca

0
0
Scrabble Words With Friends