Definition of athame in English:



  • A black-handled, double-edged ritual knife used in modern witchcraft.

    • ‘I have poured over images of athames in catalogs, and peered through the glass at shops, scrutinizing the handle, the shape of the blade, the sheath, only to feel that it just doesn't fit.’
    • ‘Balthazar waved his hand and an athame appeared in it.’
    • ‘The tool I most often carry with me to group rituals is a knife, what most people would call an athame.’
    • ‘And we witches and warlocks must always have our athames with us.’
    • ‘One athame looked much like a switch-blade, with a nice silver blade and a red handle that she grasped tightly in her right hand, bringing it across her chest in a swift movement.’
    • ‘Many Wiccans, teens especially, don't have athames, cauldrons, wands… but use substitutes.’
    • ‘From that point on I pretty much put down my wand and athame and refused to do any more spells.’
    • ‘You don't need candles, an athame, and a herbal garden to be a Wiccan.’
    • ‘He opened it up and found several different evil looking things; athames, black books, swords, potion ingredients.’
    • ‘Whatever the athame was used for is of a magnitude I could not venture to imagine.’
    • ‘He felt his pocket and felt the athame he had stolen from Martix.’
    • ‘She turned away from the ancient athame that she had been studying to watch the Lord Protector approach.’
    • ‘Another area where magical activity can fall foul of the law is the carrying of ritual knives and swords, for example the athame.’
    • ‘He took the athame and plunged it into her stomach.’
    • ‘She held an athame in her hand, which was what she used to kill the defenseless animal.’
    • ‘She raised her athame once more with a shaking hand.’
    • ‘Many brought their own chalices, athames and swords so that the altar represented each of us.’
    • ‘Jordan yelled as she ducked to avoid an athame that was thrown at her.’
    • ‘Her silver athame, with Celtic runes in the handle was laid to the right on the altar.’
    • ‘Check in your state to find out if athames are legal.’


1930s: of unknown origin.