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2017 Word of the Year

imitative magic

noun
1.
magic that attempts to control the universe through the mimicking of a desired event, as by stabbing an image of an enemy in an effort to destroy him or her or by performing a ritual dance imitative of the growth of food in an effort to secure an abundant supply; a branch of sympathetic magic based on the belief that similar actions produce similar results.
Also called homeopathic magic.
Compare contagious magic.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for imitative magic
Historical Examples
  • The acts appear to be simply procedures of imitative magic, customs sanctified by long usage.

  • The examples from this last group illustrate Frazers distinction between contagious magic and imitative magic.

    Totem and Taboo Sigmund Freud
  • First let us examine the simpler and more important case of imitative magic.

    Totem and Taboo Sigmund Freud
  • Collins believed that this was imitative magic of a familiar kind, done to secure success in the chase.

  • imitative magic is based on a belief which obtains general currency that the effect resembles the cause which produces it.

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