Definition of occult in English:

occult

noun

the occult
  • Supernatural, mystical, or magical beliefs, practices, or phenomena.

    ‘a secret society to study alchemy and the occult’
    • ‘Actually, I suspect it is really about religion, in the same way that Tropic of Night was about black magic or voodoo or the occult.’
    • ‘This categorisation has to be seen in the context of the place of telepathy and the occult in psychoanalysis.’
    • ‘Is this what happens when amateurs try to dabble in the occult?’
    • ‘It is not known to have any occult powers, however.’
    • ‘It had a large section devoted to books about the paranormal and the occult.’
    • ‘Stokes answers that he has also specialized in anthropology, parapsychology and the occult.’
    • ‘This was later altered to mean ‘witch’ or ‘magician’ for the people who practiced the occult.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, Backster has become the darling of several occult, parapsychological and pseudoscientific notions.’
    • ‘No limit can be set to the forms of deception practised in the occult.’
    • ‘What you do need, though, is a penchant for the occult.’
    • ‘The true faith became perverted into the false practices of the occult.’
    • ‘Is their a distinction between magic and the occult?’
    • ‘Many of our discussions get deeply involved with the mechanics of magick and the occult.’
    • ‘They show Antin's growing passion for mysticism and the occult.’
    • ‘For many, they have viewed it with suspicion, as though it bordered on the occult.’
    • ‘It wasn't until Steiner was nearly forty and the 19th century was about to end that he became deeply interested in the occult.’
    • ‘Kramer believes some critics are confusing magic with the occult.’
    • ‘About ten or fifteen years ago when I was starting on my path, I was drawn to all aspects of the occult.’
    • ‘They acted in a way that seemed to confirm the Christian identification of pagan cult with sorcery and the occult.’
    • ‘There she created her own brand of Surrealism, bringing to it a passion for alchemy, mysticism and the occult.’
    the supernatural, the paranormal, supernaturalism, magic, black magic, witchcraft, sorcery, necromancy, wizardry, the black arts, kabbalah, cabbalism, occultism, diabolism, devil worship, devilry, voodoo, hoodoo, white magic, witchery, witching, orenda, mysticism
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adjective

  • 1Of, involving, or relating to supernatural, mystical, or magical powers or phenomena.

    ‘a follower of occult practices similar to voodoo’
    1. 1.1 Beyond the range of ordinary knowledge or experience; mysterious.
      ‘a weird occult sensation of having experienced the identical situation before’
      • ‘She even thought that mesmerism and hypnotism were occult arts.’
      • ‘He was the son of Silken Thomas and as a result of being educated in Italy he came to be recognised as a dabbler in the occult arts.’
      • ‘Her plots depend on the occult power of art and the frailty of our ordinary healthy relation to the world.’
      • ‘I have a doctorate in religious philosophy as well as the occult arts so I know a lot about different religions.’
      • ‘As Thomson relates, film began as an occult, slightly shady art, played in flickering lights often in the bad part of town.’
      • ‘Seeking ‘higher levels of consciousness’ may instead bring devotees face to face with evil spirits through occult practices.’
      • ‘I am often thankful that I started studying/practicing Zen shortly before I began studying/practicing various occult traditions.’
      • ‘The Allies raid the camp where the occult ceremony is taking place, but not before a demon has already been conjured.’
      • ‘Americans have significantly increased their belief in psychic, paranormal and occult phenomena over the past decade, the Gallup Poll notes.’
      • ‘Plus I will be putting together two galleries, one of designs I have done for specific people, and another of occult tattoo flash art.’
      • ‘Leading members of the society visited India and other parts of Asia to study mystical teachings and seek out occult phenomena.’
      • ‘The regulation bans any direct or indirect promotion through radio or television of occult practices.’
      • ‘I had a grandmother involved in the occult practice of Kabala and that was very dangerous.’
      • ‘Both Christian and Jew are forbidden to participate in the occult practices listed in Deuteronomy 18: 10.’
      • ‘It is no accident therefore, that alchemy has been relegated to the margins along with other occult practices.’
      • ‘The genuine seekers of truth will receive the spiritual awakening not by psychedelic drugs nor by occult practices.’
      • ‘From her he had inherited his mysticism and his occult powers.’
      • ‘The result is witchcraft practised as an occult art, operating primarily through spells and curses.’
      • ‘He passionately wanted to revive interest in the occult arts.’
      • ‘In addition Spence distinguished between the benevolent occult arts and black magic.’
      supernatural, magic, magical, mystical, mystic, paranormal, psychic, necromantic, preternatural, transcendental
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    2. 1.2 Communicated only to the initiated; esoteric.
      ‘the typically occult language of the time’
      • ‘Every culture has its avant-garde, and every avant-garde has its own occult language.’
      • ‘Goddess worship is a key component in most esoteric - or what came to be known as occult - traditions.’
      • ‘Since my initiation, very few outside of my Order knew of my initiation or of my occult involvement.’
      • ‘That's what is so disappointing about using the Net to organize occult communities.’
  • 2Medicine
    (of a disease or process) not accompanied by readily discernible signs or symptoms.

    • ‘It is also possible that some cases of ‘idiopathic’ pneumonia actually represent episodes of occult infection.’
    • ‘What investigations might prove useful as screening tests for occult cancers?’
    • ‘The systemic features of both entities can mimic occult infection, malignancy, multiple myeloma and connective tissue disease.’
    • ‘Many organisms can cause febrile occult infection in young children.’
    • ‘The authors conclude that low levels of cholesterol may be potential warning signs of occult disease or rapidly declining health.’
    1. 2.1 (of blood) abnormally present, e.g., in feces, but detectable only chemically or microscopically.
      • ‘Stahnke underwent a fecal occult blood test, a colonoscopy, a computerized tomography scan of her abdomen and a colonic transit study.’
      • ‘A physician could recommend a colonoscopy, fecal occult blood testing, a double-barium enema, flexible sigmoidoscopy, or a general rectal exam.’
      • ‘When compared with endoscopy, faecal occult blood tests detect < 30% of cancers and < 12% of large adenomas.’
      • ‘The presence of occult blood in the stool may be a sign of neoplasms or esophagitis.’
      • ‘The cards were rehydrated before testing, which has been shown to increase the sensitivity of occult blood detection.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Cut off from view by interposing something.

    ‘a wooden screen designed to occult the competitors’
    • ‘The blinding sun has occulted a segment of the river's surface, rendering it opaque to the spectator's eye.’
    • ‘Of course, putting it like that it seems as though I'm passing the buck onto a vast occulted primal drive within my psyche.’
    • ‘What is contained within this stylized structure is the occulted truth that is causing the disease of Denmark.’
    • ‘The sound was being occulted by something that passed in front of it with an acoustic masker.’
    • ‘To find the picture's meaning occulted in the thing itself, to discover a structure that will resolve all interpretative debate: these are art history's perennial dreams.’
    • ‘He presented core themes of his philosophy in the form of an exposition of occulted truths contained in the first book of Genesis.’
    1. 1.1Astronomy (of a celestial body) conceal (an apparently smaller body) from view by passing or being in front of it.
      • ‘Nineteenth-century astronomers argued over what they saw through their telescopes when the Moon occulted a star.’
      • ‘In daylight on the 25th, the planet is occulted by a slender crescent Moon.’
      • ‘From parts of northwestern Canada and Alaska, the Moon will actually occult Jupiter.’
      • ‘With an occulting disk obscuring the Sun, an artificial eclipse would be produced.’
      • ‘Alternatively Mercury might pass behind Venus and be occulted.’
      blot out, block, cover, obscure, veil, shroud, hide, conceal, obliterate, darken, dim
      View synonyms

Origin

Late 15th century (as a verb): from Latin occultare ‘secrete’, frequentative of occulere ‘conceal’, based on celare ‘to hide’; the adjective and noun from occult- ‘covered over’, from the verb occulere.

Pronunciation

occult

/əˈkəlt//əˈkəlt/