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early 15c., from earlier sorcer (late 14c.), from Old French sorcier, from Medieval Latin sortarius "teller of fortunes by lot; sorcerer" (also source of Spanish sortero, Italian sortiere-; see sorcery). With superfluous -er, as in poulterer, upholsterer. Sorcerer's apprentice translates l'apprenti sorcier, title of a symphonic poem by Paul Dukas (1897) based on a Goethe ballad ("Der Zauberlehrling," 1797), but the common figurative use of the term (1952) comes after Disney's "Fantasia" (1940).
from the Latin sortiarius, one who casts lots, or one who tells the lot of others. (See DIVINATION.) In Dan. 2:2 it is the rendering of the Hebrew mekhashphim, i.e., mutterers, men who professed to have power with evil spirits. The practice of sorcery exposed to severest punishment (Mal. 3:5; Rev. 21:8; 22:15).