verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- witch alder,
- witch ball,
- witch doctor,
- witch grass,
- witch hazel
Origin of witch
Examples from the Web for witch
Breitbart forced her to correct a small part of her story, but witch hunts like these will leave every victim cowering.
She faces a jury of famous villains and a judge from the Salem witch trials.
Likewise, pressure must be placed on Egypt to abandon its witch hunt of the Muslim Brotherhood.To Beat ISIS, the Arab World Must Promote Political and Religious Reforms|Rula Jebreal|September 15, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Opponents of same-sex marriage say that even liberals have started to feel the effects of the witch hunt.
The film will feature two new songs: one called “Rainbows,” and another for the Witch.‘Into the Woods’ Gets Disney-ed: Sondheim Confirms Movie Changes to His Musical|Tim Teeman|June 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
No doubt the party indicated as the witch was very often another of the "good witches," perhaps a rival.A History of Witchcraft in England from 1558 to 1718|Wallace Notestein
The witch goes up in the air with the fire, and nobody sees her any more.Basque Legends|Wentworth Webster
The only physician of the people for a thousand years was the Witch.La Sorcire: The Witch of the Middle Ages|Jules Michelet
Firstly, we find her as the beautiful and accomplished daughter of the witch, playing the part of a Medea, without her cruelty.Kalevala, Volume I (of 2)|Anonymous
In fact she was proud to make her neighbours believe her to be a witch.Traditions and Hearthside Stories of West Cornwall, Second Series|William Bottrell
Word Origin for witch
Word Origin for witch
Old English wicce "female magician, sorceress," in later use especially "a woman supposed to have dealings with the devil or evil spirits and to be able by their cooperation to perform supernatural acts," fem. of Old English wicca "sorcerer, wizard, man who practices witchcraft or magic," from verb wiccian "to practice witchcraft" (cf. Low German wikken, wicken "to use witchcraft," wikker, wicker "soothsayer").
OED says of uncertain origin; Liberman says "None of the proposed etymologies of witch is free from phonetic or semantic difficulties." Klein suggests connection with Old English wigle "divination," and wig, wih "idol." Watkins says the nouns represent a Proto-Germanic *wikkjaz "necromancer" (one who wakes the dead), from PIE *weg-yo-, from *weg- "to be strong, be lively."
That wicce once had a more specific sense than the later general one of "female magician, sorceress" perhaps is suggested by the presence of other words in Old English describing more specific kinds of magical craft. In the Laws of Ælfred (c.890), witchcraft was specifically singled out as a woman's craft, whose practitioners were not to be suffered to live among the W. Saxons:
Ða fæmnan þe gewuniað onfon gealdorcræftigan & scinlæcan & wiccan, ne læt þu ða libban."
The other two words combined with it here are gealdricge, a woman who practices "incantations," and scinlæce "female wizard, woman magician," from a root meaning "phantom, evil spirit." Another word that appears in the Anglo-Saxon laws is lyblæca "wizard, sorcerer," but with suggestions of skill in the use of drugs, because the root of the word is lybb "drug, poison, charm." Lybbestre was a fem. word meaning "sorceress," and lybcorn was the name of a certain medicinal seed (perhaps wild saffron). Weekley notes possible connection to Gothic weihs "holy" and German weihan "consecrate," and writes, "the priests of a suppressed religion naturally become magicians to its successors or opponents." In Anglo-Saxon glossaries, wicca renders Latin augur (c.1100), and wicce stands for "pythoness, divinatricem." In the "Three Kings of Cologne" (c.1400) wicca translates Magi:
Þe paynyms ... cleped þe iij kyngis Magos, þat is to seye wicchis.
The glossary translates Latin necromantia ("demonum invocatio") with galdre, wiccecræft. The Anglo-Saxon poem called "Men's Crafts" has wiccræft, which appears to be the same word, and by its context means "skill with horses." In a c.1250 translation of "Exodus," witches is used of the Egyptian midwives who save the newborn sons of the Hebrews: "Ðe wicches hidden hem for-ðan, Biforen pharaun nolden he ben." Witch in reference to a man survived in dialect into 20c., but the fem. form was so dominant by 1601 that men-witches or he-witch began to be used. Extended sense of "young woman or girl of bewitching aspect or manners" is first recorded 1740. Witch doctor is from 1718; applied to African magicians from 1836.
At this day it is indifferent to say in the English tongue, 'she is a witch,' or 'she is a wise woman.' [Reginald Scot, "The Discoverie of Witchcraft," 1584]