Definition of witch in English:

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Pronunciation: /wɪtʃ/


1A woman thought to have evil magic powers, popularly depicted as wearing a black cloak and pointed hat, and flying on a broomstick.
Example sentences
  • She was half Indian and she had told him many stories about witches and black magic.
  • She readily admitted to performing the black magic associated with witches.
  • She would hold it, gripping the handle as her father had taught her, and pretend to fight off giant ogres or evil witches with magical powers.
sorceress, enchantress, occultist, necromancer, Wiccan
archaic beldam
rare hex, pythoness
1.1A follower or practitioner of modern witchcraft; a Wiccan priest or priestess.
Example sentences
  • The Pagan Federation, an umbrella group which represents Druids, shamans, witches and high priestesses, is now receiving up to 1000 calls a week.
  • Local witch and high priestess, Maxine Vine, said Halloween is a celebration where the spirit world is at its closest to our world and to forget all the negativity in your life.
  • Modern witches are the followers of the religion Wicca.
2 informal An ugly or unpleasant old woman.
Example sentences
  • Maybe he wouldn't take it too well that I'd called his girlfriend a gnarled witch.
  • ‘Looks like we got an ugly witch here all alone,’ said the guy in front of her.
  • Don't ever get a dog because some rotten neighbor will just come and take it away and then you'll have to go battle some witches to get him back.
hag, crone, harpy, harridan, termagant, she-devil
informal battleaxe, old bag
Scottish & Northern Irish informal targe
archaic scold
3A girl or woman who is bewitchingly attractive.
Example sentences
  • At one point a panel of Harvard scientists was called in to observe a seance, and disbelievers called the girls harlots and witches.
  • Maybe in your last life, you were a girl and a witch.
  • Beside Qiara, Nook drew in a quick breath, as if his breathing had stopped altogether as the witch girl danced his will away.
4An edible North Atlantic flatfish.
  • Glyptocephalus cynoglossus, family Pleuronectidae.
Example sentences
  • I'm talking flat fish, Lemon sole, Dover sole, plaice, dabs, witch, turbot, halibut, brill and skate.
  • The moratorium on fishing for cod and witch flounder off the Grand Banks in the North Atlantic is a prime example.


[with object]
1Cast an evil spell on: Mrs Mucharski had somehow witched the house
More example sentences
  • It's kind of what I was hoping for, it's why I witch the narrator so you can see how each character thinks and feels and stuff.
1.1(Of a girl or woman) enchant (a man): she witched Jake
More example sentences
  • Lackis, having already eaten back at the post-house, looked for the lady who had witched him with her beauty just two days before.



Pronunciation: /ˈwɪtʃ(ə)lʌɪk/
Example sentences
  • Some are corrupt and powerfully untouchable from the start, others are mad and witchlike.
  • They were costumed performers struggling against an evil witchlike villain, Benita Bizarre, and her costumed or puppet minions in a gigantic garden world.
  • In her paintings she can seem witchlike, devoted to dark causes, even as she compels admiration for her translucent flesh and riveting gaze.


adjective (witchier, witchiest)
Example sentences
  • Among the various novels, there is one in which Updike founds and then overthrows his own African nation; in another he conjures up weird witchy sisters and they conjure up thunderstorms, love charms and cancer.
  • Matthew's ex-wife Nadine moves to a hovel in the country where she spends her time shrieking at the kids in such a witchy manner I couldn't help wondering whether the house was made of gingerbread.
  • Venus in the sign of forward thrust and Mars in pleasure loving Taurus could make life pretty sensual this week - which is a magical time of enjoyably witchy synchronicities.


Old English wicca (masculine), wicce (feminine), wiccian (verb); current senses of the verb are probably a shortening of bewitch.

  • In Anglo-Saxon times witches were of both sexes. The masculine form was wicca, which is the source of wicked, and has also been revived in recent times by modern pagans as the name of their religion, Wicca. A female witch was a wicce. A male witch would now be called a wizard (Late Middle English), a word that comes from wise—in the Middle Ages wizards were wise men or sages, only becoming magicians in the mid 16th century. See also warlock. The witching hour is midnight, the time when witches are active. The phrase is from Shakespeare's Hamlet. Hamlet himself declares: Tis now the very witching time of night, / When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out / Contagion to this world.’ George Orwell was the first to use witch-hunt to mean ‘a campaign directed at people holding views considered unorthodox or a threat to society’, in reference to Communists being persecuted in the Spanish Civil War (1936–39). Before that a witch-hunt was a real hunt for witches, though the term is recorded first in novels from the 19th century, long after witches had stopped being burned at the stake.

Words that rhyme with witch

bewitch, bitch, ditch, enrich, fitch, flitch, glitch, hitch, itch, kitsch, Mitch, pitch, quitch, rich, snitch, stitch, switch, titch, twitch, which

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: witch

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