incantation

[ in-kan-tey-shuhn ]
/ ˌɪn kænˈteɪ ʃən /

noun

the chanting or uttering of words purporting to have magical power.
the formula employed; a spell or charm.
magical ceremonies.
magic; sorcery.
repetitious wordiness used to conceal a lack of content; obfuscation: Her prose too often resorts to incantation.

Nearby words

  1. incalescent,
  2. incandesce,
  3. incandescence,
  4. incandescent,
  5. incandescent lamp,
  6. incantatory,
  7. incapable,
  8. incapacitant,
  9. incapacitate,
  10. incapacitated

Origin of incantation

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin incantātiōn- (stem of incantātiō), equivalent to incantāt(us) past participle of incantāre to put a spell on, bewitch (see enchant, -ate1) + -iōn- -ion

Related formsin·can·ta·tion·al, in·can·ta·to·ry [in-kan-tuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ɪnˈkæn təˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectivein·can·ta·tor, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for incantation


British Dictionary definitions for incantation

incantation

/ (ˌɪnkænˈteɪʃən) /

noun

ritual recitation of magic words or sounds
the formulaic words or sounds used; a magic spell
Derived Formsincantational, adjective

Word Origin for incantation

C14: from Late Latin incantātiō an enchanting, from incantāre to repeat magic formulas, from Latin, from in- ² + cantāre to sing; see enchant

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

Word Origin and History for incantation

incantation

n.

late 14c., from Old French incantacion "spell, exorcism" (13c.), from Latin incantationem (nominative incantatio) "art of enchanting," noun of action from past participle stem of incantare "bewitch, charm," literally "sing spells" (see enchantment).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper