Definition of seance in English:



  • A meeting at which people attempt to make contact with the dead, especially through the agency of a medium.

    • ‘One person who was caught cheating was Florence Cook, a medium whose work in séances had been vouched for by Crookes.’
    • ‘During his lifetime, his visits to mediums, holdings of seances, and hosts of other supernatural predilections remained guarded secrets.’
    • ‘One way or another, the young man had a typical séance and several Ouija sessions as a result of the hinted paranormal activity.’
    • ‘I milled about with the prospective sitters, and then we were all ushered into the seance room in the medium's bungalow.’
    • ‘It was like a seance for 700 people, but a casual seance.’
    • ‘Each of those shows was quiet enough to be a seance, a failed attempt to make contact with a dead celebrity.’
    • ‘We set up a little seance and tried calling up some dead personalities and ask questions while a machine was recording everything.’
    • ‘She was pictured taking part in a seance hoping to contact former deputy editor Peter Martin, who died last year.’
    • ‘We should conduct a seance and attempt to contact the spirit of Eddie Daniels.’
    • ‘Noel Coward's comedy features the medium Madame Arcati who holds a seance with hilarious repercussions.’
    • ‘The two exist on the proceeds of Myra's efforts as a medium who holds séances in one of the rooms of their home.’
    • ‘Or when all else fails, you could always come back home with us, and you don't even have to hold a seance to talk with the dead there!’
    • ‘Upstairs in the cafe, at midnight, all gather to begin the seance.’
    • ‘Red Sox outfielder Mike Greenwell used to collect bats from slumping players, pile them on the clubhouse floor, and perform seances to awaken the dead wood.’
    • ‘Although, like most other mediums, she was regularly searched before seances, many believe she swallowed and later regurgitated the material.’
    • ‘Prodi said he had received the information about Moro's whereabouts from a séance, probably in an attempt to protect his source.’
    • ‘A devotee of the Ouija board and seances, King enlisted the aid of his dead grandfather while he was composing the inscriptions.’
    • ‘A parade of entities was reportedly observed by the medium at the 1978 seance, and she deduced that there were 17 ghosts occupying the inn.’
    • ‘Most Spiritualists were outspoken abolitionists and often engaged in fiery polemics against slavery at lectures and seances.’
    • ‘Here's the part where you all think that I'm a freak who speaks with the dead and has séances each weekend.’


Late 18th century: French séance, from Old French seoir, from Latin sedere sit.