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 English internecine and pernicious, and possibly Greek néktar, source of English nectar). Addition of manteíā ‘divination’, a derivative of mántis ‘prophet, diviner’ (from which English gets the insectname mantis [17], an allusion to its raised front legs, which give it an appearance of praying), produced nekromanteíā ‘foretelling the future by talking to the dead’, which passed into late Latin as necromantīa. By the Middle Ages the application of the term had broadened out to ‘black magic’ in general, and this led to an association of the first element of the word with Latin niger ‘black’. Hence when it first arrived in English it was in the form nigromancy, and the restoration of the original necro- did not happen until the 16th century. => INTERNECINE, MANTIS, PERNICIOUS

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

Synonyms:

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 — 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; …   Universalium

  • 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 — [[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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