the chanting or uttering of words purporting to have magical power.
the formula employed; a spell or charm.
magical ceremonies.
magic; sorcery.
repetitious wordiness used to conceal a lack of content; obfuscation: Her prose too often resorts to incantation.

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin incantātiōn- (stem of incantātiō), equivalent to incantāt(us) past participle of incantāre to put a spell on, bewitch (see enchant, -ate1) + -iōn- -ion

incantational, incantatory [in-kan-tuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] , adjective
incantator, noun

4. witchcraft, black magic, wizardry. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
incantation (ˌɪnkænˈteɪʃən)
1.  ritual recitation of magic words or sounds
2.  the formulaic words or sounds used; a magic spell
[C14: from Late Latin incantātiō an enchanting, from incantāre to repeat magic formulas, from Latin, from in-² + cantāre to sing; see enchant]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from O.Fr. incantation (13c.), from L. incantationem (nom. incantatio) "art of enchanting," from incantus, pp. of incantare "bewitch, charm," lit. "sing spells" (see enchantment).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

incantation definition

Any particularly arbitrary or obscure command that one must mutter at a system to attain a desired result. Not used of passwords or other explicit security features. Especially used of tricks that are so poorly documented that they must be learned from a wizard. "This compiler normally locates initialised data in the data segment, but if you mutter the right incantation they will be forced into text space."

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Encyclopedia Britannica


words uttered in a set formula with magical intent. The correct recitation, often with accompanying gestures, is considered to unleash supernatural power. Some societies believe that incorrect recitation can not only nullify the magic but cause the death of the practitioner.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
It is not a magical incantation, the slightest deviation from which will break
  the spell.
And there's kind of hypnotic incantation to the sentences.
Our compelling lure was a segment of an angle worm, and our incantation was to
  spit on the bait.
The melody unfolds as a hypnotic incantation based on three pitches only.
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