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- (religion, mysticism) Intended to ward off evil. [from 1883]
- 2007 August 12, Christopher Hitchens, “Harry Potter: The Boy Who Lived”, in New York Times Book Review:
- A boring subtext, about the wisdom or otherwise of actually uttering Voldemort's name, meanwhile robs the apotropaic device of its force.
- 2010, Mary Beard, chapter 7, in Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town:
- In earlier generations scholars reacted by removing many of these objects from public view, putting them in the ‘Secret Cabinet’ of the museum at Naples or otherwise under wraps. […] More recently the fashion has been to deflect attention from their sexuality by referring to them as ‘magical’, ‘apotropaic’ or ‘averters of the evil eye’.
intended to ward off evil
apotropaic (plural apotropaics)
- An agent intended to ward off evil.