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[mey-jahy] /ˈmeɪ dʒaɪ/
plural noun, singular Magus
[mey-guh s] /ˈmeɪ gəs/ (Show IPA)
(sometimes lowercase) the wise men, generally assumed to be three in number, who paid homage to the infant Jesus. Matt. 2:1–12.
Compare Balthazar (def 1), Caspar (def 1), Melchior (def 1).
(sometimes lowercase) the class of Zoroastrian priests in ancient Media and Persia, reputed to possess supernatural powers.
(lowercase) astrologers.
Origin of Magi
See origin at Magus
Related forms
[mey-jee-uh n] /ˈmeɪ dʒi ən/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for magian


plural noun (sing) magus (ˈmeɪɡəs)
the Zoroastrian priests of the ancient Medes and Persians
the three magi, the wise men from the East who came to do homage to the infant Jesus (Matthew 2:1–12) and traditionally called Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar
Derived Forms
magian (ˈmeɪdʒɪən) adjective
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 magian



c.1200, "skilled magicians, astrologers," from Latin magi, plural of magus "magician, learned magician," from Greek magos, a word used for the Persian learned and priestly class as portrayed in the Bible (said by ancient historians to have been originally the name of a Median tribe), from Old Persian magush "magician" (see magic). Related: Magian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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magian in Culture
Magi [(may-jeye)]

The sages who visited Jesus soon after his birth. (See Wise Men.)

The 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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