THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ IS HARDLY A DODDLE!
Origin of sorceress
usage note for sorceress
Words nearby sorceress
What does sorceress mean?
The word sorcerer means the same thing but can be used for any gender, although it typically refers to a man.
The word sorcery often (though not always) refers to so-called black magic—magic used for evil purposes. That’s why sorceress and sorcerer are often used to refer to evil characters in works of fiction, especially in the fantasy genre.
In contrast, similar words like wizard and magician usually imply that such figures use their powers for good. If not, you’d usually call them an evil wizard or evil magician.
Apart from whether or not they use their supernatural powers for good or evil, the words sorcerer and sorceress often imply that such a person is very powerful due to having great skill and command of such powers.
For this reason, the word sorceress is sometimes used in a figurative way to refer to a woman who is very skilled at something, as if she has magical abilities, as in Maureen is a sorceress at coding. The word sorcery can be used to refer to such skill. The words wizard and wizardry are used (even more commonly) in the same ways.
Example: The sorceress has cast a powerful spell to enchant this land.
Where does sorceress come from?
The first records of the word sorceress come from the second half of the 1300s. The word sorcerer came later, around the 1520s. Both words ultimately come from the Latin sortiārius, meaning “person who casts lots” (referring to a person who tells fortunes). The suffix -ess is used in the feminine form of nouns, as in goddess and empress.
Fictionally speaking, a sorceress is a female magician (the kind who wields supernatural powers, not the kind who does card tricks). Sorceresses (be careful to fit in all those S’s when pronouncing the plural) are often villains in the stories where they appear. A well-known example is the appropriately named Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty.
The word sorceress is similar to witch or enchantress, but sorceress implies great magical power and skill. It also often implies evil. The figurative use of the word, though, usually doesn’t imply evil. When you call a chef a sorceress, it’s a compliment meaning that she uses her skill to make magic in the kitchen—not that she’s using her powers for evil.
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What are some other forms related to sorceress?
What are some synonyms for sorceress?
What are some words that share a root or word element with sorceress?
What are some words that often get used in discussing sorceress?
How is sorceress used in real life?
Sorceresses most commonly appear (and disappear) in the context of fantasy.
"Why do the bad guys always pick my day off to start causing trouble?"
Stellar Sorceress Imani is ready to lay down some cosmic justice when #RadiantStars hits the Realm!
— Paladins: The Game (@PaladinsGame) July 1, 2020
But yeah, I've cried at work. God, have I cried. Makes me human. Makes me stronger. Makes me write a female character who have vulnerability, even if she's the most powerful sorceress in the world. Makes me write a male character who is just as fallible, and heroic because of it.
— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) July 7, 2020
My mom somehow made fries that tasted exactly like McDonald’s fries and i was craving fries when i woke up this morning. The only logical conclusion here is that she is a sorceress.
— Angel of Small Death (@_love_holly_) July 4, 2020
Try using sorceress!
True or False?
Sorceresses are always evil.
Example sentences from the Web for sorceress
Endor is a sorceress who may or may not actually be able to converse with the dead.Monsignor Meth Kevin Wallin: The Kinky Priest Who Sold Meth|Michael Daly|January 22, 2013|DAILY BEAST
There is, however, a sorceress who can transform people into various animals.
When the sorceress had disappeared, the free-trader resumed his former ease of manner, seeming to speak and act more naturally.The Water-Witch or, The Skimmer of the Seas|James Fenimore Cooper
Heliodora had gone to consult the sorceress in a simple but rich dress.The Bride of the Nile, Complete|Georg Ebers
Instead of answering the sorceress, the poor little one threw himself sobbing upon her neck.
This again shows the sincerity of the sorceress in the carrying out of these practices.Princes and Poisoners|Frantz Funck-Brentano
Basina was a sorceress, one who could divine the future and also bestow the gift upon others.Hero Tales and Legends of the Rhine|Lewis Spence