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[sawr-suh-ree] /ˈsɔr sə ri/
noun, plural sorceries.
the art, practices, or spells of a person who is supposed to exercise supernatural powers through the aid of evil spirits; black magic; witchery.
Origin of sorcery
1250-1300; Middle English sorcerie < Medieval Latin sorceria. See sorcerer, -y3
enchantment. See magic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sorceries
Historical Examples
  • And they gave heed to him, because for a long time he had amazed them with his sorceries.

    The Bible Story Rev. Newton Marshall Hall
  • Through the shutters came the smell of lilacs, the sorceries of spring.

    The Paliser case Edgar Saltus
  • They carry away the corpses off the gibbets of Montfaucon; they commit a thousand horrors to make their sorceries successful.

    The Barber of Paris Charles Paul de Kock
  • Let us see your arts, and the sorceries you are able to perform.

  • It was called long ago the land of the gods, and of strange, but not evil, sorceries.

  • Flesh of my flesh have you been, and soul of my soul, for in the web of sorceries are we knit together.

    The Wizard H. Rider Haggard
  • God do so to me, and more also, if she and her sorceries be on earth a twelvemonth hence!'

    Hypatia Charles Kingsley
  • Third: That by their sorceries they sought responses and oracles from demons.

    Witch, Warlock, and Magician William Henry Davenport Adams
  • Then follow "sorceries," plainly pointing out pretended revelations, false miracles, etc.

  • I loathe to be in the same room with her; she taints the air; there is a smell of sorceries about her.

    Ayesha H. Rider Haggard
British Dictionary definitions for sorceries


noun (pl) -ceries
the art, practices, or spells of magic, esp black magic, by which it is sought to harness occult forces or evil spirits in order to produce preternatural effects in the world
Derived Forms
sorcerous, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French sorcerie, from sorciersorcerer
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 sorceries



c.1300, from Old French sorcerie, from sorcier "sorcerer, wizard," from Medieval Latin sortiarius "teller of fortunes by lot; sorcerer," literally "one who influences fate or fortune," from Latin sors (genitive sortis) "lot, fate, fortune" (see sort (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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