Definition of dowsing in English:



  • [mass noun] A technique for searching for underground water, minerals, ley lines, or anything invisible, by observing the motion of a pointer (traditionally a forked stick, now often paired bent wires) or the changes in direction of a pendulum, supposedly in response to unseen influences.

    [as modifier] ‘a dowsing rod’
    • ‘Sometimes I do some dowsing for my patients but it always has to be for the highest good.’
    • ‘Qualified researchers working in various fields of science have been displaying growing interest in problems of dowsing.’
    • ‘In many areas of the world, dowsing as a means of locating water, for instance, is an accepted and respected skill.’
    • ‘Remote viewing might well be called psychic dowsing.’
    • ‘It is one of the many ancient varieties of dowsing devices.’
    • ‘By the way, ‘anyone’ can learn dowsing, but some flee in terror after their first try at it because it works so well - and that frightens them.’
    • ‘This is an excellent analysis indeed of why the unconsciously faking dowser is not aware of how he/she is producing the movement of the dowsing device.’
    • ‘I also used dowsing to ‘find’ the water and sewer pipes that ran from my family home to the street, never thinking that I already knew where they were.’
    • ‘The possible foundations of a third ancient barn on the site were found below the ground during a special event for visitors, demonstrating the uses of dowsing with two metal rods to detect magnetic anomalies in the ground.’
    • ‘You use your dowsing stick and then you find water.’
    • ‘It took very little coaxing to get Clyde to bring his dowsing rods to the next class.’
    • ‘In the last part of his life he studied biomagnetism and dowsing which reduced his standing in the eyes of many of his colleagues.’
    • ‘Last week, a gentleman who will be un-named here, took me to task for my statements concerning dowsing.’
    • ‘Peter demonstrated his dowsing technique for us at the site.’
    • ‘Actually, I am not as sceptical of dowsing as you might think.’
    • ‘He explained the concept of dowsing, and how the rods were supposed to be used.’
    • ‘I would like to make you aware of this Foundation's million-dollar prize for anyone who can demonstrate dowsing.’
    • ‘All of this is probably quite mundane in the world of dowsing, I'm sure.’
    • ‘She is also experienced in massage, aromatherapy and dowsing.’
    • ‘Occasionally, someone with proper credentials drops in with claimed validation (most frequently of dowsing / divining abilities) that must be taken more seriously.’
    • ‘The alleged psychic ability of dowsing is said to enable dowsers to locate underground substances or objects.’
    • ‘There is still a number of activities taking place tomorrow, including a visit to the cemetery, and a practical demonstration of dowsing, though I'm not quite clear how this relates to Heritage Week!’
    • ‘We have considered the scope for using dowsing as a tool for locating sub-surface archaeology much as water diviners have utilised the technique - with some success - in locating springs and pipes.’