One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An instance or utterance of the magical word ‘abraxas’, supposed (especially in Gnosticism) to act as a charm; a gem, amulet, etc., inscribed with this word or other cabbalistic signs.
Early 18th century. From French abraxas and its etymon post-classical Latin Abraxas, name given by the Basilidians to the ruler of the 365 heavens (3rd cent.) from Hellenistic Greek Ἀβράξας, of unknown origin.
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