Definition of incantation in English:



  • 1A series of words said as a magic spell or charm.

    ‘an incantation to raise the dead’
    • ‘But inside, there were all kinds of unbelievable spells, incantations, charms, potion recipes, and information about magic.’
    • ‘He started chanting the incantation of a dark spell, full of ugly guttural sounds.’
    • ‘Both were then attached to the nail of the ring finger of a virgin who said a special series of words - an incantation, a spell or a prayer perhaps.’
    • ‘He raised his arms into the air and chanted the incantation for a fireball.’
    • ‘He was activating the Sepfeer talisman that was inside as he began to chant the incantation for the spell he was about to cast.’
    • ‘He dug through his list of incantations, invocations and other such spells to little avail.’
    • ‘Upon reaching the top, Shield once again chanted an incantation and opened the doorway to the outside world.’
    • ‘The work is full of magic incantations and spells and is now known to be of European origin.’
    • ‘Nucharangua shook him off, and quickly chanted the incantation for the cage spell.’
    • ‘People use various methods to protect themselves from it and to treat the symptoms: amulets, charms, talismans, spells, incantations, vows and sacrifices, and so on.’
    • ‘Any spell with an incantation has the ability to backfire if even one word in the chant is pronounced wrong.’
    • ‘With great solemnity, they prepared the sleeping body of Miri with magic charms and incantations, and called upon the ancestors and the gods to call away Karkameni.’
    • ‘This old volume was a Spell Tome, full of ancient secrets of magical healing, useful incantations and protective charms.’
    • ‘Mindy obtains a Taoist Magic book and uses the spells and incantations within to reverse her mother's fortunes.’
    • ‘The song was hypnotic, the words felt like an incantation, a Latin mass for suburbia.’
    • ‘The general consensus is to take the word to mean ‘the use of magic potions and charms in incantations and degraded religious practices’.’
    • ‘Along with the spells, charms, incantations, and potion recipes, there were manuals, instructions, factoids, magical messages, and even stories.’
    • ‘Just as he started the incantation of the escape spell, the door swung open.’
    • ‘Study of primitive peoples who believe in the supernatural can produce many examples of the results of incantations, potions, charms, rites or invocations.’
    • ‘Book III proposes licit remedies against charms and incantations, and considers whether it is true that sorcerers have the power to heal.’
    chant, invocation, conjuration, magic spell, magic formula, rune
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[mass noun]The use of words as a magic spell.
      ‘there was no magic in such incantation’
      • ‘Its effect is the same as that of soul-stirring, soul-elevating scriptural incantation or a cascade of melody.’
      • ‘It was believed that, providing the event was assisted by incantation, evil could be washed away, burnt away, or banished by contact with a purification stick, wand or whip.’
      • ‘Although they have become shorter, going still means three days of esoteric debate interrupted only by ritual incantation, expensive coffee, and German food.’
      • ‘Songs of power, of magic, of emotion, of incantation and enchantment.’
      • ‘The murmur of incantation gurgled into silence, but not before a blazing inferno of heat erupted around him.’
      • ‘Chanting - or incantation - has always been a technique of sorcery.’
      • ‘And with Kyrithin's continued incantation, the light was growing brighter with every passing second.’
      • ‘But the passage also slips towards unreason; it is incantation, not argument.’
      • ‘Such features are very prominent in nursery rhymes and ballads, where frequently pleasure lies in rhythm, incantation, and strangeness of image.’
      • ‘Again there is nothing of magic, or casting of spells, or of incantation.’
      • ‘Evil cannot always be repelled by incantation, by demonstrations, by social analysis or by psychoanalysis.’
      • ‘The former prescribed the medicine, or used incantation, to provide healing.’
      • ‘Consequently, people depended on prayer and incantation, in one form of another, as the only available form of risk management.’
      • ‘More ‘advanced’ magicians have been known to use foreign language incantation in their work, and they can claim to have just as much success as the sigil users.’
      • ‘Stepping back from Vincent, Uturlié stabbed the third dagger he was holding into the floor at his feet, and then stood over it, taking on a stance used for incantation.’
      • ‘But this particular craze has nothing to do with the incantation of spells, or the brewing of noxious potions.’
      • ‘It will also explore certain formal similarities between the TV series and Burroughs' novels - for instance, the role of refrains, repetition and incantation.’
      • ‘Is rhetoric, as the ancients posed, a form of incantation or magic?’
      • ‘Yet behind the irony in the final rhythmic incantation we read an emptiness that is neither spiritual sustenance, nor love.’
      • ‘By repeated incantation, the Five Conditions have acquired a hieratic authority.’


Late Middle English: via Old French from late Latin incantatio(n-), from incantare chant, bewitch (see incant).