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Aug 9, 2006
This week's theme
Words related to forecasting and divination

This week's words
arithmancy
bibliomancy
necromancy
clairvoyance
haruspicy

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

necromancy

(NEK-ruh-man-see) Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

noun:
1. Divination by trying to communicate with the spirits of the dead.
2. Magic; sorcery; witchcraft.

From Greek nekros (corpse) + -mancy (divination). Ultimately from Indo-European root nek- (death) that's also the source of nuisance, obnoxious, pernicious, innocent, innocuous, nectar, and nectarine.

Before the word arrived in its current form, it was known as nigromantia in medieval Latin, from confusion of Greek nekro with Latin niger (black). Now you know why magic and sorcery are also known as the "black arts".

"A few years later, [Branaghstein] goes to university to study medical science, with a minor in necromancy."
Desson Howe; Creature Discomforts; The Washington Post; Nov 4, 1994.

See more usage examples of necromancy in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

X-Bonus

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back. -Maya Angelou, poet (1928- )

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