follow Dictionary.com

Write a Super Short Story to win an iPod!

familiar spirit

noun
1.
a supernatural spirit or demon supposed to attend on or serve a person.
Also called familiar.
Origin
1555-1565
1555-65
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
familiar spirit in the Bible

Sorcerers or necormancers, who professed to call up the dead to answer questions, were said to have a "familiar spirit" (Deut. 18:11; 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chr. 33:6; Lev. 19:31; 20:6; Isa. 8:19; 29:4). Such a person was called by the Hebrews an _'ob_, which properly means a leathern bottle; for sorcerers were regarded as vessels containing the inspiring demon. This Hebrew word was equivalent to the pytho of the Greeks, and was used to denote both the person and the spirit which possessed him (Lev. 20:27; 1 Sam. 28:8; comp. Acts 16:16). The word "familiar" is from the Latin familiaris, meaning a "household servant," and was intended to express the idea that sorcerers had spirits as their servants ready to obey their commands.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for familiar spirit

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for familiar

13
15
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for familiar spirit