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sortilege

[sawr-tl-ij] /ˈsɔr tl ɪdʒ/
noun
1.
the drawing of lots for divination; divination by lot.
2.
sorcery; magic.
Origin of sortilege
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin sortilegium, for Latin sortilegus, equivalent to sort- (stem of sors) lot, chance + -i- -i- + -legus (derivative of legere to read, count, choose out); see -ium
Related forms
sortilegic
[sawr-tl-ej-ik] /ˌsɔr tlˈɛdʒ ɪk/ (Show IPA),
sortilegious
[sawr-tl-ee-juh s] /ˌsɔr tlˈi dʒəs/ (Show IPA),
adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sortilege
Historical Examples
  • He had recourse to every superstition of sortilege, clairvoyance, presentiment, and dreams.

    Lost Edward Bellamy
  • And strangely enough it resembled the state of mind of a man who fears disenchantment more than sortilege.

    Within the Tides Joseph Conrad
  • From various sources of information we know that the Druids had recourse to sortilege by fire.

  • I do not know where this form of sortilege originated; it is probably as old as Luther's Bible.

    The Graysons Edward Eggleston
  • "'Tis witchcraft and sortilege, maleficium et sortilegium," said the abbat.

    A Legend of Reading Abbey

    Charles MacFarlane
  • This narrative, of combined bibliomancy and sortilege, is a curious one, but let it pass.

  • On the same occasions, the will of the gods was ascertained by the casting of lot or other processes of sortilege.

    Canute the Great Laurence Marcellus Larson
  • sortilege was one of the things which Wesley learned from the devout Moravians.

British Dictionary definitions for sortilege

sortilege

/ˈsɔːtɪlɪdʒ/
noun
1.
the act or practice of divination by drawing lots
2.
magic or sorcery
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Medieval Latin sortilegium, from Latin sortilegus a soothsayer, from sors fate + legere to select
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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