incantation

[in-kan-tey-shuhn]
noun
  1. the chanting or uttering of words purporting to have magical power.
  2. the formula employed; a spell or charm.
  3. magical ceremonies.
  4. magic; sorcery.
  5. repetitious wordiness used to conceal a lack of content; obfuscation: Her prose too often resorts to incantation.

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

Synonyms for incantation

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for incantatory

Historical Examples of incantatory

  • He conducts this ceremony with the greatest solemnity, occasionally pronouncing these incantatory words, "Plate or shell, sah?"

    Physiology of The Opera

    John H. Swaby (AKA "Scrici")

  • I then perceived for the first time in my life the mysterious, incantatory, supernatural powers of great eloquence.

    The Wrack of the Storm

    Maurice Maeterlinck


British Dictionary definitions for incantatory

incantatory

adjective
  1. relating to or having the characteristics of an incantation

incantation

noun
  1. ritual recitation of magic words or sounds
  2. 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 incantatory

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