[ wawr-lok ]
/ ˈwɔrˌlɒk /


a man who professes or is supposed to practice magic or sorcery; a male witch; sorcerer.
a fortuneteller or conjurer.

Nearby words

  1. warks,
  2. warless,
  3. warlessly,
  4. warley,
  5. warlike,
  6. warlord,
  7. warlpiri,
  8. warm,
  9. warm as toast,
  10. warm front

Origin of warlock

before 900; Middle English warloghe, -lach, Old English wǣrloga oathbreaker, devil, equivalent to wǣr covenant + -loga betrayer (derivative of lēogan to lie)

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for warlock

British Dictionary definitions for warlock


/ (ˈwɔːˌlɒk) /


a man who practises black magic; sorcerer
a fortune-teller, conjuror, or magician

Word Origin for warlock

Old English wǣrloga oath breaker, from wǣr oath + -loga liar, from lēogan to lie 1


/ (ˈwɔːˌlɒk) /


Peter, real name Philip Arnold Heseltine. 1894–1930, British composer and scholar of early English music. His works include song cycles, such as The Curlew (1920–22), and the Capriol Suite (1926) for strings
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 warlock



Old English wærloga "traitor, liar, enemy," from wær "faith, a compact" (cf. Old High German wara "truth," Old Norse varar "solemn promise, vow;" see very; cf. also Varangian) + agent noun related to leogan "to lie" (see lie (v.1)).

Original primary sense seems to have been "oath-breaker;" given special application to the devil (c.1000), but also used of giants and cannibals. Meaning "one in league with the devil" is recorded from c.1300. Ending in -ck and meaning "male equivalent of a witch" (1560s) are from Scottish.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper