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Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Witch

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and Wizard. These two words are now generally used of an adept of the black art, a sorcerer, magician, female and male respectively (see Magic and Witchcraft). "Witch," formerly of common gender, represents O. Eng. wicca (masc.), wicce (fern.), agent-nouns to wiccian, to practise sorcery, probably a causative verb from O. Eng. wican, to give way (cf. "weak"), and therefore signifying to avert (evil), conjure away. So Norweg. vikja means (I) to turn aside, (2) to exorcise. The participial "wicked" means witch-like. "Wizard" is formed from "wise," with the slightly contemptuous Anglo-French suffix -ard, as in drunkard, laggard, sluggard, &c.

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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Witch'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/bri/w/witch.html. 1910.

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