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A diagram of the palm of the hand from Magnus Hundt’s Antropologium de hominis dignitate [] (1501)[1]


chiromancy +‎ -er.



chiromancer (plural chiromancers)

  1. One who practices chiromancy; a palm reader.
    • 1638, Virgilio Malvezzi; Henry Carey, Baron Carey of Leppington, transl., “Tarquin Makes Peace with the Equi, Renewes His League with the Tuscans, and Betaking Himselfe to Citie Affairs, will Finish the Temple of Jupiter Tarpeius”, in Romvlvs and Tarqvin: First Written in Italian by the Marques Virgilio Malvezzi; and now Taught English by H: Ld. Cary of Lepingtō, 2nd edition, London: Printed by I. H. for Iohn Benton, and are to be sould at his shopp under St Dunstons Church Fleet street, OCLC 54152833, page 225:
      The ſcumme of the people partake of the Chyromancer; they will ſee the hand, to judge the heart: but how many are there who preſent themſelves before God with hands of gold, and hearts of clay?
    • 1653, Richard Sanders, “What Physiognomie is, and what of It is Requisite for the Chiromancer to Know”, in Physiognomie, and Chiromancie, Metoposcopie, the Symmetrical Proportions and Signal Moles of the Body, Fully and Accurately Handled; with Their Natural-predictive Significations. The Subject of Dreams; Divinative, Steganographical, and Lullian Sciences. Whereunto is Added the Art of Memorie, London: Printed by R. White, for Nathaniel Brooke, at the sign of the angel in Cornhil near the Royal Exchange, OCLC 702365936, page 143:
      Hippocrates Prince of Phyſick, ſayes, that the Phyſician cannot be accompliſhed in his Art, if he have not the knowledge of Aſtrologie; ſo I may ſay that the Chiromancer is not perfect nor accompliſhed if he have not Phyſiognomie, which is Scienta quâ natura hominum ex aſpectu corporis judicatur, []
    • 1836–1839, F. T. M‘Dougall, “Hand, Regions of the”, in Robert B[entley] Todd, editor, The Cyclopædia of Anatomy and Physiology, volume II (DIA–INS), London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, & Roberts, OCLC 14856472, page 524:
      There are many other inconstant folds, or markings of the skin, in this region [of the hand], which, to the surgeon, are of little import, but which present a book of mystic lore to the gipsy and the cheiromancer, wherein (when opened by the necessary charms) they discern the future destinies of all that seek to be enlightened by them.
    • 1845, “Fortune-tellers and Chiromancy”, in Albany Poyntz, editor, A World of Wonders, with Anecdotes and Opinions Concerning Popular Superstitions, London: Richard Bentley, New Burlington Street, publisher in ordinary to Her Majesty, OCLC 29297062, pages 126–127:
      Chiromancers divide the hand into several regions, each presided by a planet. The thumb belongs to Venus, the index to Jupiter, the middle finger to Saturn, the annulary to the Sun, the auricular to Mercury, the centre of the hand to Mars, the remainder to the Moon. The direction of the line of life is still undecided by chiromancers; some placing it between the thumb and index, traversing the centre of the palm; []
    • 1982, Graeme Tytler, “Lavater and the Physiognomische Fragmente”, in Physiognomy in the European Novel: Faces and Fortunes, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, →ISBN, page 43:
      It was considered blasphemous to forestall Providence, as most chiromancers and metoposcopists did, by predicting future events in everyday life from sundry bodily signs; and this accounts for the widespread belief throughout those centuries that physiognomy was a kind of black magic.
    • 2012, Giovan[ni] Francesco Straparola; W. G. Waters, transl., “King Galafro's Vain Precautions”, in Donald Beecher, editor, The Pleasant Nights (The Lorenzo da Ponte Italian Library), volume 2, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, →ISBN, page 264:
      Now this chiromancer, when he understood the king's wish, took hold of his hand and examined with the greatest care all the lines he could trace there. After considering them diligently, one and all, he stood silent and his face grew pale.

Alternative forms[edit]




  1. ^ Magnus Hundt (1501) Antropologium de ho[min]is dignitate, natura, et p[rop]rietatibus, de elementis, partibus et me[m]bris humani corporis: de iuuamentis, nocume[n]tis, accide[n]tib[us], vitijs, remedijs, et physionomia ipsorum: de excreme[n]tis et exeu[n]tib[us]: de spiritu hu[m]ano eiusq[ue] natura p[ar]tib[us] et op[er]ib[us]: de ani[m]a hu[m]ana et ipsius appendicijs, Leipzig: Per Baccalariu[m] Wolfgangu[m] [Stoeckel] Monacensem, OCLC 14306540.

Further reading[edit]