Definition of magic in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmajik/


1The power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces: do you believe in magic? suddenly, as if by magic, the doors start to open
More example sentences
  • What makes people believe in magic, the supernatural and psychic powers?
  • Explanations that involve supernatural forces or magic are also fine in a fantasy world.
  • Though surprised, the villagers accepted his story because they believed that the power of voodoo magic made such things possible.
1.1Mysterious tricks, such as making things disappear and appear again, performed as entertainment.
Example sentences
  • There are some who can perform magic tricks while others cannot even shuffle a deck of cards.
  • Each school will be treated to an hour of magic, illusion and entertainment with lots of jokes, surprises and audience participation.
  • She's promised to teach me some magic tricks later.
conjuring tricks, sleight of hand, legerdemain, illusion, prestidigitation
1.2A quality that makes something seem removed from everyday life, especially in a way that gives delight: the magic of the theater
More example sentences
  • The second half was magic, beautiful, brilliant, particularly when in the 22nd or 23rd minute of the half Peter Withe scored.
  • This show appeals to all ages with its exciting, fast-paced story, fantastic images and beautiful puppet magic.
  • It is being staged by Ian Judge, a director who does not always find depth in a work but is guaranteed to bring a quality of pleasing theatrical magic.
allure, attraction, excitement, fascination, charm, glamour
1.3 informal Something that has a delightfully unusual quality: their seaside town is pure magic
More example sentences
  • The idea flourished at the Mepco Schlenk College, Sivakasi, when I saw similar software, which was termed by the Mepco students as pure magic.
  • Even Derek Jacobi and Jim Broadbent pale beside Finney, but Redgrave complements him, and their scenes together are pure magic.
  • The moments are too many, they are heart warming, and pure magic.


1Used in magic or working by magic; having or apparently having supernatural powers: a magic wand
More example sentences
  • The eye-catching clusters of life-size Winnie the Pooh bears seem to have a magic power that locks your gaze onto them.
  • From thence he made his way to Egypt - there, if possible, to learn the art of working wonders by magic spells.
  • During the trial, Roulet testified that his lycanthropic ability was the result of a magic salve in his possession.
supernatural, enchanted, occult
1.1 [attributive] Very effective in producing results, especially desired ones: confidence is the magic ingredient needed to spark recovery
More example sentences
  • Closer, the celebrity women's weekly from the team behind Heat, seems to have found the magic circulation formula that has eluded more traditional women's titles.
  • The coaches agree that it's going to take the players some time to adapt to new teams and new set-ups - they've got a lot of new players and they've just not found the magic formula yet.
  • ‘I think I've discovered the magic formula’ said Japan's French coach Philippe Troussier.
2 informal Wonderful; exciting: what a magic moment
More example sentences
  • The purpose of this book is simple: to help people make the most of their own magic moments with orchids.
  • Expect a fancy dress competition, choral warm-up and ‘crazy magic moments with the help of your free fun-filled goody bag’.
  • They had not been warned that it was a busman's holiday and that they were going to be sharing their magic moment with an ever-shifting, never-thinning crowd.
fascinating, captivating, charming, glamorous, magical, enchanting, entrancing, spellbinding, magnetic, irresistible, hypnotic
informal terrific, fabulous, brilliant

verb (magics, magicking, magicked)

[with object]
Move, change, or create by or as if by magic: he must have been magicked out of the car at the precise second it exploded
More example sentences
  • The report simply says that an alternative route will need to be found for buses but it is far from evident how any such alternative route can be magicked up.
  • Four more veggie meals were magicked out of thin air.
  • Whole posts can be magicked away by a couple of ill-considered key presses - without even taking your hand off the keyboard.


like magic

Remarkably effectively or rapidly: it repels rain like magic
More example sentences
  • With a leap and a whir, the device made another rapid pre-scan and, just like magic, up popped a set of thumbnails showing what was on the negatives, very nicely rendered.
  • If you wanted the information in Chinese, all you had to do was reply with a ‘C,’ and like magic you had what you needed.
  • The joints are staggered in a brick-like fashion and patted down firmly with the head of a metal rake; a new lawn appears like magic, before your very eyes!


Late Middle English (also in the sense 'a magical procedure'): from Old French magique, from Latin magicus (adjective), late Latin magica (noun), from Greek magikē (tekhnē) '(art of) a magus': magi were regarded as magicians.

  • The Magi were the ‘wise men’ from the East who visited the infant Jesus soon after his birth. They were said to have been kings, called Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, who brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The singular form is magus, and it was originally a term for a member of a priestly caste of ancient Persia regarded as having unusual powers, and the word, filtered through Greek and Latin, is the origin of our magic and magician (Late Middle English). Magic has been used for something remarkable, as in the expression a magic touch, since the mid 19th century and as an exclamation of approval meaning ‘excellent’ since the 1950s.

Words that rhyme with magic

bathypelagic, tragic

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mag·ic

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