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[wich-kraft, -krahft] /ˈwɪtʃˌkræft, -ˌkrɑft/
the art or practices of a witch; sorcery; magic.
magical influence; witchery.
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
  • Part of the reputation of witchcraft is almost certainly due to the effects of naturally occurring hallucinogenic drugs.
  • In the past witchcraft or demonic possession were often blamed-they still are in some societies.
  • Even now rumors of sorcery and witchcraft hover around any one of them who behaves bizarrely.
  • Focuses on what happened during witchcraft trials when people accused of witchcraft either denied the accusations or confessed.
  • Perceived witchcraft, for example, has been punished by death.
  • The modernity of witchcraft politics and the occult in postcolonial africa.
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 The Witchcraft Act was repealed 1736.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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