Witch (?), n. [Cf. Wick of a lamp.]

A cone of paper which is placed in a vessel of lard or other fat, and used as a taper.

[Prov. Eng.]


© Webster 1913.

Witch, n. [OE. wicche, AS. wicce, fem., wicca, masc.; perhaps the same word as AS. witiga, witga, a soothsayer (cf. Wiseacre); cf. Fries. wikke, a witch, LG. wikken to predict, Icel. vitki a wizard, vitka to bewitch.]


One who practices the black art, or magic; one regarded as possessing supernatural or magical power by compact with an evil spirit, esp. with the Devil; a sorcerer or sorceress; -- now applied chiefly or only to women, but formerly used of men as well.

There was a man in that city whose name was Simon, a witch. Wyclif (Acts viii. 9).

He can not abide the old woman of Brentford; he swears she's a witch. Shak.


An ugly old woman; a hag.



One who exercises more than common power of attraction; a charming or bewitching person; also, one given to mischief; -- said especially of a woman or child.


4. Geom.

A certain curve of the third order, described by Maria Agnesi under the name versiera.

5. Zool.

The stormy petrel.

Witch balls, a name applied to the interwoven rolling masses of the stems of herbs, which are driven by the winds over the steppes of Tartary. Cf. Tumbleweed. Maunder (Treas. of Bot.) -- Witches' besoms Bot., tufted and distorted branches of the silver fir, caused by the attack of some fungus. Maunder (Treas. of Bot.) -- Witches' butter Bot., a name of several gelatinous cryptogamous plants, as Nostoc commune, and Exidia glandulosa. See Nostoc. -- Witch grass Bot., a kind of grass (Panicum capillare) with minute spikelets on long, slender pedicels forming a light, open panicle. -- Witch meal Bot., vegetable sulphur. See under Vegetable.


© Webster 1913.

Witch (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Witched (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Witching.] [AS. wiccian.]

To bewitch; to fascinate; to enchant.

[I 'll] witch sweet ladies with my words and looks. Shak.

Whether within us or without The spell of this illusion be That witches us to hear and see. Lowell.


© Webster 1913.