necromancy


necromancy
necromancer, n.necromantic; Obs., necromantical, adj.necromantically, adv.
/nek"reuh man'see/, n.
1. a method of divination through alleged communication with the dead; black art.
2. magic in general, esp. that practiced by a witch or sorcerer; sorcery; witchcraft; conjuration.
[1250-1300; NECRO- + -MANCY; r. ME nigromancie < ML nigromantia for LL necromantia < Gk nekromanteía; by folk etymology nigro- (comb. form of L niger black) was substituted in ML for original necro-]
Syn. 2. See magic.

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▪ occult practice
      communication with the dead, usually in order to obtain insight into the future or to accomplish some otherwise impossible task. Such activity was current in ancient times among the Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Etruscans; in medieval Europe it came to be associated with black (i.e., harmful, or antisocial) magic and was condemned by the church.

      Its practitioners were skilled magicians who used a consecrated circle in some desolate spot, often a graveyard, to protect themselves from the anger of the spirits of the dead. In the event of a premature or violent death, the corpse was thought to retain some measure of unused vitality, and so the use of parts of corpses as ingredients of charms came to be an important technique of witchcraft. Necromancy was especially popular in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and its temptations and perils were vividly described in the Faust stories of Christopher Marlowe and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Necromancy — • A special mode of divination by the summoning of the dead Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Necromancy     Necromancy     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Necromancy — Nec ro*man cy, n. [OE. nigromaunce, nigromancie, OF. nigromance, F. n[ e]cromance, n[ e]cromancie, from L. necromantia, Gr. ?; nekro s a dead body (akin to L. necare to kill, Skr. na[,c] to perish, vanish) + ? divination, fr. ? diviner, seer,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • necromancy — (n.) c.1300, nygromauncy, divination by communication with the dead, from O.Fr. nigromancie magic, necromancy, witchcraft, sorcery, from M.L. nigromantia (13c.), from L. necromantia divination from an exhumed corpse, from Gk. nekromanteia, from… …   Etymology dictionary

  • necromancy — [n] sorcery abracadabra*, alchemy, bewitchment, black art, black magic, charm, conjuring, devilry, divination, enchantment, evil eye, hocus pocus*, incantation, jinx, magic, mumbo jumbo*, mysticism, occultism, spell, thaumaturgy, voodoo,… …   New thesaurus

  • necromancy — ► NOUN 1) prediction of the future by allegedly communicating with the dead. 2) witchcraft or black magic. DERIVATIVES necromancer noun necromantic adjective. ORIGIN from Greek nekros corpse …   English terms dictionary

  • necromancy — [nek′rə man΄sē] n. [ME nigromancie < OFr nigromance < ML nigromantia (altered by assoc. with L niger, black) < L necromantia < Gr nekromanteia < nekros, corpse (see NECRO ) + manteia, divination: see MANCY] 1. in some occult and… …   English World dictionary

  • Necromancy — This article is about the form of magic. For the film, see Necromancy (film). Necromancer redirects here. For other uses, see Necromancer (disambiguation). Illustration portraying a scene from the Bible wherein the Witch of Endor uses a… …   Wikipedia

  • necromancy — noun /ˈnɛkrəˌmænsi/ a) Divination involving the dead or death. And for to make this treatise the more pleasaunt and facill, I have put it in forme of a Dialogue, which I have diuided into three bookes: The first speaking of Magie in general, and… …   Wiktionary

  • necromancy — [13] Greek nekrós meant ‘corpse’ (it has given English necrophilia [19], necropolis ‘cemetery’ [19], and necrosis ‘death of tissue’ [17] as well as necromancy, and goes back to a base *nek ‘kill’ which also produced Latin nex ‘killing’, source of …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • necromancy — [[t]ne̱krəmænsi[/t]] N UNCOUNT Necromancy is magic that some people believe brings a dead person back to this world so that you can talk to them. [FORMAL] …   English dictionary


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