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[nek-ruh-man-see] /ˈnɛk rəˌmæn si/
a method of divination through alleged communication with the dead; black art.
magic in general, especially that practiced by a witch or sorcerer; sorcery; witchcraft; conjuration.
Origin of necromancy
1250-1300; necro- + -mancy; replacing Middle English nigromancie < Medieval Latin nigromantīa for Late Latin necromantīa < Greek nekromanteía; by folk etymology nigro- (combining form of Latin niger black) was substituted in ML for original necro-
Related forms
necromancer, noun
necromantic; Obsolete, necromantical, adjective
necromantically, adverb
2. See magic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for necromancer


the art or practice of supposedly conjuring up the dead, esp in order to obtain from them knowledge of the future
black magic; sorcery
Derived Forms
necromancer, noun
necromantic, adjective
Word Origin
C13: (as in sense 1) ultimately from Greek nekromanteia, from nekros corpse; (as in sense 2) from Medieval Latin nigromantia, from Latin niger black, which replaced necro- through folk etymology
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
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Word Origin and History for necromancer

c.1300, from Old French nigromansere, from nigromancie (see necromancy).



c.1300, nygromauncy, "divination by communication with the dead," from Old French nigromancie "magic, necromancy, witchcraft, sorcery," from Medieval Latin nigromantia (13c.), from Latin necromantia "divination from an exhumed corpse," from Greek nekromanteia, from nekros "dead body" (see necro-) + manteia "divination, oracle," from manteuesthai "to prophesy," from mantis "prophet" (see mania). Spelling influenced in Medieval Latin by niger "black," on notion of "black arts." Modern spelling is a mid-16c. correction. Related: Necromantic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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necromancer in the Bible

(Deut. 15:11), i.e., "one who interrogates the dead," as the word literally means, with the view of discovering the secrets of futurity (comp. 1 Sam. 28:7). (See DIVINATION.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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