Nostoc commune
Witch Witch, n. [OE. wicche, AS. wicce, fem., wicca, masc.; perhaps the same word as AS. w[=i]tiga, w[=i]tga, a soothsayer (cf. {Wiseacre}); cf. Fries. wikke, a witch, LG. wikken to predict, Icel. vitki a wizard, vitka to bewitch.] [1913 Webster] 1. One who practices the black art, or magic; one regarded as possessing supernatural or magical power by compact with an evil spirit, esp. with the Devil; a sorcerer or sorceress; -- now applied chiefly or only to women, but formerly used of men as well. [1913 Webster]

There was a man in that city whose name was Simon, a witch. --Wyclif (Acts viii. 9). [1913 Webster]

He can not abide the old woman of Brentford; he swears she's a witch. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. An ugly old woman; a hag. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. One who exercises more than common power of attraction; a charming or bewitching person; also, one given to mischief; -- said especially of a woman or child. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]

4. (Geom.) A certain curve of the third order, described by Maria Agnesi under the name versiera. [1913 Webster]

5. (Zo["o]l.) The stormy petrel. [1913 Webster]

6. A Wiccan; an adherent or practitioner of {Wicca}, a religion which in different forms may be paganistic and nature-oriented, or ditheistic. The term witch applies to both male and female adherents in this sense. [PJC]

{Witch balls}, a name applied to the interwoven rolling masses of the stems of herbs, which are driven by the winds over the steppes of Tartary. Cf. {Tumbleweed}. --Maunder (Treas. of Bot.)

{Witches' besoms} (Bot.), tufted and distorted branches of the silver fir, caused by the attack of some fungus. --Maunder (Treas. of Bot.)

{Witches' butter} (Bot.), a name of several gelatinous cryptogamous plants, as {Nostoc commune}, and {Exidia glandulosa}. See {Nostoc}.

{Witch grass} (Bot.), a kind of grass ({Panicum capillare}) with minute spikelets on long, slender pedicels forming a light, open panicle.

{Witch meal} (Bot.), vegetable sulphur. See under {Vegetable}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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