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levitation

[lev-i-tey-shuh n] /ˌlɛv ɪˈteɪ ʃən/
noun
1.
the act or phenomenon of levitating.
2.
the raising or rising of a body in air by supernatural means.
Origin
1660-1670
1660-70; levitate + -ion
Related forms
levitational, adjective
levitative, adjective
self-levitation, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin and History for self-levitation

levitation

n.

1660s, noun of action from Latin levitas (see levitate) + -ion.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for self-levitation

levitation

rising of a human body off the ground, in apparent defiance of the law of gravity. The term designates such alleged occurrences in the lives of saints and of spiritualist mediums, generally during a seance; levitation of furniture and other objects during a seance has also been reported. Levitation of witches and other figures of folklore is called transvection and is said to involve the rubbing of "flying ointment" on their bodies before flying to the sabbath (see witches' sabbath). The levitation of saints is usually directly upward, whereas that of witches has the dynamic purpose of transportation. Theologians long debated whether transvection was illusion or fact; levitation, however, has been subject to less controversy, though its practice has often been discouraged.

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