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[wich-kraft, -krahft] /ˈwɪtʃˌkræft, -ˌkrɑft/
the art or practices of a witch; sorcery; magic.
magical influence; witchery.
Origin of witchcraft
before 950; Middle English wicchecraft, Old English wiccecræft. See witch, craft
1. See magic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for witchcraft
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Thus the notions of sorcery, heresy, and witchcraft were developed.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • At first the Hurons believed the Delaware had been thus deformed by witchcraft.

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
  • Attention is called to the influence of this fear of witchcraft upon the character and customs of the natives.

    Fetichism in West Africa Robert Hamill Nassau
  • Now, I do verily believe there is witchcraft in the tender passion.

    Gomez Arias Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso
  • It looks as if some witchcraft had mashed up the leaves and then splashed the mess all over the place.

British Dictionary definitions for witchcraft


the art or power of bringing magical or preternatural power to bear or the act or practice of attempting to do so
the influence of magic or sorcery
fascinating or bewitching influence or charm
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 witchcraft

Old English wiccecræft, from wicce (see witch) + cræft "power, skill" (see craft). Witchcraft was declared a crime in English law in 1542; trials there peaked in 1580s and 1640s but fell sharply after 1660. The last, in 1717, ended in acquittal. The Witchcraft Act was repealed 1736.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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witchcraft in Culture

witchcraft definition

Popularly believed to be the practice of black magic. Witches are known today as followers of Wicca, a pagan nature religion with roots in pre-Christian western Europe. Wicca is now undergoing a revival, especially in the United States and Great Britain.

Note: Old misunderstandings and hysterical accusations have led to persecution of “witches,” most famously in the Salem witch trials of 1692.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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witchcraft in the Bible

(1 Sam. 15:23; 2 Kings 9:22; 2 Chr. 33:6; Micah 5:12; Nahum 3:4; Gal. 5:20). In the popular sense of the word no mention is made either of witches or of witchcraft in Scripture. The "witch of En-dor" (1 Sam. 28) was a necromancer, i.e., one who feigned to hold converse with the dead. The damsel with "a spirit of divination" (Acts 16:16) was possessed by an evil spirit, or, as the words are literally rendered, "having a spirit, a pithon." The reference is to the heathen god Apollo, who was regarded as the god of prophecy.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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