a person who practices sorcery; black magician; wizard.

Origin of sorcerer

1520–30; earlier sorcer, Middle English < Middle French sorcier, perhaps < Vulgar Latin *sortiārius one who casts lots, equivalent to Latin sort- (stem of sors) lot, fate + -i- -i- + -ārius -ier2; see -er1
Related formsun·der·sor·cer·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Historical Examples of sorcerer

British Dictionary definitions for sorcerer


feminine sorceress (ˈsɔːsərɪs)


a person who seeks to control and use magic powers; a wizard or magician

Word Origin for sorcerer

C16: from Old French sorcier, from Vulgar Latin sortiārius (unattested) caster of lots, from Latin sors lot
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 sorcerer

early 15c., from earlier sorcer (late 14c.), from Old French sorcier, from Medieval Latin sortarius "teller of fortunes by lot; sorcerer" (also source of Spanish sortero, Italian sortiere-; see sorcery). With superfluous -er, as in poulterer, upholsterer. Sorcerer's apprentice translates l'apprenti sorcier, title of a symphonic poem by Paul Dukas (1897) based on a Goethe ballad ("Der Zauberlehrling," 1797), but the common figurative use of the term (1952) comes after Disney's "Fantasia" (1940).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper