rhabdomancy

[ rab-duh-man-see ]
/ ˈræb dəˌmæn si /

noun

divination by means of a rod or wand, especially in discovering ores, springs of water, etc.

QUIZZES

DISCOVER THE INFLUENCE OF PORTUGUESE ON ENGLISH VIA THIS QUIZ!

We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?

Origin of rhabdomancy

1640–50; <Late Greek rhabdomanteía;see rhabdo-, -mancy

OTHER WORDS FROM rhabdomancy

rhab·do·man·tist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for rhabdomancy

  • Sir Thomas Browne also speaks of a 'strange kind of exploration and peculiar way of Rhabdomancy' used in mineral discoveries.

    Storyology|Benjamin Taylor
  • It is not water, but treasures which they profess to find by some hidden kind of rhabdomancy.

  • Hazel-rods were used to "divine" for water and minerals by professors of an art which received the crack-jaw title of Rhabdomancy.

    Miscellanea|Juliana Horatia Ewing
  • Rhabdomancy, a species of divination by means of a hazel rod to trace the presence of minerals or metals under ground.

    The Nuttall Encyclopaedia|Edited by Rev. James Wood

British Dictionary definitions for rhabdomancy

rhabdomancy
/ (ˈræbdəˌmænsɪ) /

noun

divination for water or mineral ore by means of a rod or wand; dowsing; divining

Derived forms of rhabdomancy

rhabdomantist or rhabdomancer, noun

Word Origin for rhabdomancy

C17: via Late Latin from Late Greek rhabdomanteia, from rhabdos a rod + manteia divination
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