One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A woman believed to be possessed by a familiar spirit and to be able to foresee the future.
witch, sorceress, magician, fairy, fairy godmotherView synonyms
- ‘An elevated term for a witch was pythoness, which came to us in medieval times from medical Latin via French.’
Late Middle English: from Old French phitonise, from an alteration of late Latin pythonissa, based on Greek puthōn ‘soothsaying demon’. Compare with Pythia.
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