witchcraft definition by Webster's New World
- the power or practices of witches; specif.,
- black magic; sorcery
- white magic
- an instance of the use of black magic or white magic
- bewitching attraction or charm
Origin: Middle English wicchecrafte ; from Old English wiccecræft
witchcraft definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- Magic; sorcery.
- A magical or irresistible influence, attraction, or charm.
witchcraft - Cultural Definition
Popularly believed to be the practice of black magic. Witches are known today as followers of Wicca, a pagan nature religion with roots in pre-Christian western Europe. Wicca is now undergoing a revival, especially in the United States and Great Britain.
- Old misunderstandings and hysterical accusations have led to persecution of “witches,” most famously in the Salem witch trials of 1692.