Definition of witch in US English:



  • 1A woman thought to have magic powers, especially evil ones, popularly depicted as wearing a black cloak and pointed hat and flying on a broomstick.

    • ‘She readily admitted to performing the black magic associated with witches.’
    • ‘Mankind was mandated not to mess around with the dead or witches or warlocks or demons.’
    • ‘She was half Indian and she had told him many stories about witches and black magic.’
    • ‘I wanted to be a princess in a mystical land that was filled with magic and fairies and evil witches.’
    • ‘The use of white space is impressive, especially in the flying sequence of the witch's black bird.’
    • ‘However, for most of us, Halloween is the night for witches and broomsticks, fire and black cats.’
    • ‘Do you notice I'm starting to melt like the evil witch in the Wizard of Oz?’
    • ‘Today, the typical witch is generally portrayed as an old hag in a black robe, wearing a pointed black cap and flying on a broomstick across a full moon.’
    • ‘They were witches and they practiced black magic in the woods.’
    • ‘No more witches, wizards or warlocks lighted their fires with the flick of a finger.’
    • ‘She would hold it, gripping the handle as her father had taught her, and pretend to fight off giant ogres or evil witches with magical powers.’
    • ‘As they walked further inside the park, they saw some witches flying around with broomsticks and wizards chasing them high up in the sky.’
    • ‘The eight warriors must battle witches, monsters, evil spirits, and vats of bubbling poison if they are to rescue the damsel in distress.’
    • ‘Wayne huffed defensively as Grandma Eva cackled like a black magic practicing witch.’
    • ‘Wait a minute, there is no such thing as magic, or witches or wizards.’
    • ‘When Duncan starts moving forward and backward in time while psychic witches and warlocks control him, the show becomes ludicrous.’
    • ‘Every race has magical and non magical people, these could be wizards, witches, warlocks, sorcerers, or sorceresses.’
    • ‘A witch or warlock can take the magic out of a being, and posses another being with it, like a broom, for flying.’
    • ‘Today it is the mysterious world of witches, wizards and warlocks which is capturing their imaginations.’
    • ‘Wizards, witches and sorcery twine with knights and kings.’
    sorceress, enchantress, occultist, necromancer, wiccan
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A follower or practitioner of Wicca or of modern witchcraft.
      • ‘‘You belong in the 204th generation of Black witches and warlocks,’ my mother told me seriously.’
      • ‘Crowley's own voluminous writings, published and unpublished, contain no reference to a religion of pagan witches.’
      • ‘My God isn't better than yours nor yours better than mine but as a witch and a pagan I carry our haunting history in my soul and still grieve.’
      • ‘The Pagan Federation, an umbrella group which represents Druids, shamans, witches and high priestesses, is now receiving up to 1000 calls a week.’
      • ‘I felt close to these people - they were pagans too, considered witches for their Voodoo practices.’
      • ‘In remoter, more traditional regions, superstitious parents uphold a tradition of giving children unflattering names so as to escape the attentions of evil spirits and witches.’
      • ‘He's here with the results of a special investigation into the world of goths, witches, and wiccans.’
      • ‘Modern witches are the followers of the religion Wicca.’
      • ‘‘These books teach children how they can get into witchcraft and become a witch, wizard or warlock,’ Brock said.’
      • ‘Paganism, which embraces a variety of groups including Druids, witches and followers of the Viking god Odin, is one of the fastest growing religions in the UK.’
      • ‘Wiccans and witches as well as magicians, generally do not like to be labelled in this manner.’
      • ‘But we think such a measure should be taken only against those who use black magic and not against good witches who use white magic.’
      • ‘More and more studying witches and warlocks came out to practice their powers.’
      • ‘Representatives of his religion burned and persecuted witches in years gone by.’
      • ‘You do not really need to have actual witches around to have very firm beliefs about the existence and powers of witches.’
      • ‘In addition, not all practitioners of Wicca are witches, and not all witches are practitioners of Wicca.’
      • ‘You see my grandmother, five generations ago, was a witch, a black witch of the most evil nature.’
      • ‘They think all Wiccans and witches are up to no good, worshiping the devil and defying God.’
      • ‘The Council of Magic, which governed and guided all good witches and warlocks, made this their ground zero.’
      • ‘Local witch and high priestess, Maxine Vine, said Halloween is a celebration where the spirit world is at its closest to our world and to forget all the negativity in your life.’
  • 2informal An ugly or unpleasant woman.

    ‘he can marry the old witch for all I care’
    • ‘‘Looks like we got an ugly witch here all alone,’ said the guy in front of her.’
    • ‘Maybe he wouldn't take it too well that I'd called his girlfriend a gnarled witch.’
    • ‘People always think old women without children are witches.’
    • ‘But it didn't turn out to be the ugly old blond headed witch I had been expecting.’
    • ‘Apparently, she was an ugly, old witch, but I doubted it.’
    • ‘Casey Craig had been the beautiful Barbie doll that made every other girl look like hideous witches.’
    • ‘Don't ever get a dog because some rotten neighbor will just come and take it away and then you'll have to go battle some witches to get him back.’
    • ‘Anyway, you shouldn't be listening to what Molly says in the first place, that old ugly witch.’
    hag, crone, harpy, harridan, termagant, she-devil
    View synonyms
  • 3A girl or woman who is bewitchingly attractive.

    • ‘This is typical of the news media: Focus on a negative few, and reduce girls to two stereotypes - witch and victim.’
    • ‘At one point a panel of Harvard scientists was called in to observe a seance, and disbelievers called the girls harlots and witches.’
    • ‘Maybe in your last life, you were a girl and a witch.’
    • ‘Beside Qiara, Nook drew in a quick breath, as if his breathing had stopped altogether as the witch girl danced his will away.’
    • ‘I'm planning on being a sexy girl pirate or a sexy witch, but if that all falls through, I have various outfits that I wear for hula performances.’
  • 4An edible North Atlantic flatfish that is of some commercial value.

    Glyptocephalus cynoglossus, family Pleuronectidae

    • ‘The moratorium on fishing for cod and witch flounder off the Grand Banks in the North Atlantic is a prime example.’
    • ‘I'm talking flat fish, Lemon sole, Dover sole, plaice, dabs, witch, turbot, halibut, brill and skate.’


[with object]
  • 1Cast an evil spell on.

    ‘Mrs. Mucharski had somehow witched the house’
    • ‘It's kind of what I was hoping for, it's why I witch the narrator so you can see how each character thinks and feels and stuff.’
    1. 1.1 (of a girl or woman) enchant (a man)
      ‘she witched Jake’
      • ‘Lackis, having already eaten back at the post-house, looked for the lady who had witched him with her beauty just two days before.’


  • as cold as a witch's tit

    • vulgar slang Very cold.


Old English wicca (masculine), wicce (feminine), wiccian (verb); current senses of the verb are probably a shortening of bewitch.