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séance

[sey-ahns] /ˈseɪ ɑns/
noun
1.
a meeting in which a spiritualist attempts to communicate with the spirits of the dead.
2.
a session or sitting, as of a class or organization.
Origin
1795-1805
1795-1805; < French: session, equivalent to sé-, base of seoir to sit1 (< Latin sedēre) + -ance -ance
Can be confused
science, séance.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for séance
  • His current target is a gang of slicksters who are running a successful seance racket.
  • As to dead languages, to my knowledge, only a séance claims to speak and hear them.
  • Through replication, he also exposed as fraudulent the field of seance magic.
British Dictionary definitions for séance

seance

/ˈseɪɑ̃ns; -ɑːns/
noun
1.
a meeting at which spiritualists attempt to receive messages from the spirits of the dead
2.
a meeting of a society
Word Origin
C19: from French, literally: a sitting, from Old French seoir to sit, from Latin sedēre
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 séance
seance
1789, "sitting, session," as of a learned society, from Fr. séance "a sitting," from seoir "to sit," from L. sedere (see sit). Meaning "spiritualistic session" first recorded 1845.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for séance

seance

(French: "sitting"), in occultism, meeting centred on a medium (q.v.), who seeks to communicate with spirits of the dead. Because strong light is said to hinder communication, a seance usually takes place in darkness or subdued light. It generally involves six or eight persons, who normally form a circle and hold hands

Learn more about seance with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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