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


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

Origin of rhabdomancy

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

Related forms

rhab·do·man·tist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples 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


/ (ˈræbdəˌmænsɪ) /


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

Derived Forms

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