Definition of witch in US English:

witch

noun

  • 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.

    • ‘Mankind was mandated not to mess around with the dead or witches or warlocks or demons.’
    • ‘Wayne huffed defensively as Grandma Eva cackled like a black magic practicing witch.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Do you notice I'm starting to melt like the evil witch in the Wizard of Oz?’
    • ‘Today it is the mysterious world of witches, wizards and warlocks which is capturing their imaginations.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A witch or warlock can take the magic out of a being, and posses another being with it, like a broom, for flying.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘She readily admitted to performing the black magic associated with witches.’
    • ‘I wanted to be a princess in a mystical land that was filled with magic and fairies and evil witches.’
    • ‘The eight warriors must battle witches, monsters, evil spirits, and vats of bubbling poison if they are to rescue the damsel in distress.’
    • ‘She was half Indian and she had told him many stories about witches and black magic.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Wizards, witches and sorcery twine with knights and kings.’
    • ‘Every race has magical and non magical people, these could be wizards, witches, warlocks, sorcerers, or sorceresses.’
    sorceress, enchantress, occultist, necromancer, wiccan
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    1. 1.1 A follower or practitioner of Wicca or of modern witchcraft.
      • ‘He's here with the results of a special investigation into the world of goths, witches, and wiccans.’
      • ‘Wiccans and witches as well as magicians, generally do not like to be labelled in this manner.’
      • ‘In addition, not all practitioners of Wicca are witches, and not all witches are practitioners of Wicca.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘More and more studying witches and warlocks came out to practice their powers.’
      • ‘The Council of Magic, which governed and guided all good witches and warlocks, made this their ground zero.’
      • ‘Crowley's own voluminous writings, published and unpublished, contain no reference to a religion of pagan witches.’
      • ‘Modern witches are the followers of the religion Wicca.’
      • ‘You see my grandmother, five generations ago, was a witch, a black witch of the most evil nature.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘You belong in the 204th generation of Black witches and warlocks,’ my mother told me seriously.’
      • ‘I felt close to these people - they were pagans too, considered witches for their Voodoo practices.’
      • ‘You do not really need to have actual witches around to have very firm beliefs about the existence and powers of witches.’
      • ‘‘These books teach children how they can get into witchcraft and become a witch, wizard or warlock,’ Brock said.’
      • ‘The Pagan Federation, an umbrella group which represents Druids, shamans, witches and high priestesses, is now receiving up to 1000 calls a week.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Representatives of his religion burned and persecuted witches in years gone by.’
      • ‘They think all Wiccans and witches are up to no good, worshiping the devil and defying God.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2informal An ugly or unpleasant woman.

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

    • ‘Maybe in your last life, you were a girl and a witch.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At one point a panel of Harvard scientists was called in to observe a seance, and disbelievers called the girls harlots and witches.’
    • ‘Beside Qiara, Nook drew in a quick breath, as if his breathing had stopped altogether as the witch girl danced his will away.’
    • ‘This is typical of the news media: Focus on a negative few, and reduce girls to two stereotypes - witch and victim.’
  • 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.’

verb

[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.’

Phrases

  • as cold as a witch's tit

    • vulgar slang Very cold.

Origin

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

Pronunciation

witch

/wiCH//wɪtʃ/