[ nek-ruh-man-see ]
/ ˈnɛk rəˌmæn si /
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See synonyms for: necromancy / necromancer / necromantic on Thesaurus.com

a method of divination through alleged communication with the dead; black art.
magic in general, especially that practiced by a witch or sorcerer; sorcery; witchcraft; conjuration.
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Origin of necromancy

First recorded in 1250–1300; necro- + -mancy; replacing Middle English nigromancie, from Medieval Latin nigromantīa for Late Latin necromantīa, from Greek nekromanteía; by folk etymology nigro- (combining form of Latin niger “black”) was substituted in Medieval Latin for the original necro-

synonym study for necromancy

2. See magic.


nec·ro·man·cer, nounnec·ro·man·tic [nek-ruh-man-tik] /ˌnɛk rəˈmæn tɪk/ Obsolete, nec·ro·man·ti·cal, adjectivenec·ro·man·ti·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is necromancy?

Necromancy is a form of magic or divination in which a person communicates with the dead, as in The evil sorcerer used vile necromancy to get information on his enemies. 

Necromancy can also refer to magic or witchcraft in general.

Often, necromancy is depicted as conjuring up a spirit or temporarily raising the dead. The supposed goal of necromancy is to gain information from the dead, especially about the future.

A person who performs necromancy is called a necromancer, as in The necromancer performed a dark ritual in the secluded graveyard. 

The adjective necromantic refers to things related to necromancy, as in The powerful witch had a wide array of necromantic spells. 

Example: The wicked magician used necromancy to learn powerful spells from the spirits of dead wizards.

Where does necromancy come from?

The first records of the word necromancy come from around 1250. It ultimately comes from the Greek nekromanteía.

As far as we know, it is impossible to talk to the dead or bring the dead back to life in some form. However, ancient peoples thought necromancy and other magic were possible. During Europe’s Middle Ages, necromancy and other black magic was condemned by the Catholic Church, and anyone suspected of practicing it could have been accused of witchcraft and put to death.

In popular culture, necromancy is often depicted as being a dark magic used by witches, warlocks, and other sorcerers. Especially in fantasy fiction, necromancy often takes the form of a magic user raising the dead as zombies, skeletons, walking corpses, or other undead creatures.

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What are some other forms related to necromancy?

  • necromancer (noun)
  • necromantic (adjective)
  • necromantically (adverb)

What are some synonyms for necromancy?

What are some words that share a root or word element with necromancy

What are some words that often get used in discussing necromancy?

How is necromancy used in real life?

Necromancy is a word people use to refer to magic that involves death or the dead.

Try using necromancy!

Which of the following words is most closely related to necromancy?

A. fire
B. death
C. nature
D. hypnotism

How to use necromancy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for necromancy

/ (ˈnɛkrəʊˌmænsɪ) /

the art or practice of supposedly conjuring up the dead, esp in order to obtain from them knowledge of the future
black magic; sorcery

Derived forms of necromancy

necromancer, nounnecromantic, adjective

Word Origin for necromancy

C13: (as in sense 1) ultimately from Greek nekromanteia, from nekros corpse; (as in sense 2) from Medieval Latin nigromantia, from Latin niger black, which replaced necro- through folk etymology
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