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From Ancient Greek μόλυβδος (mólubdos, lead) and the suffix -mancy. Probably after Greek μολυβδομαντεία (molybdomanteia) or French molybdomancie.[1]


molybdomancy (uncountable)

  1. Divination by interpreting shapes formed when molten metal, typically lead or tin, is dropped into water.
    • 1727, Bailey, The Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
      MOLUBDOMANCY [molybdomanteia of molybdos Lead, and manteia Divination, Gr.] a divining, an observing the motions, Figures, &c. of melted Lead.
    • 1931, de Givry, Lock tr., Picture Museum of Sorcery
      Molybdomancy was divination by melted lead; drops of it were allowed to fall into water, and the resulting noises and hissings listened to.
    • 1957, Robert Plank, “Spontaneous Projection of Meaningful Forms”, in Journal of Projective Techniques[1], page 146:
      The place of molybdomancy is also to be located in the uncertain border area between spontaneous and solicited projection.
    • 1971 January, Tak Hallus, “Homage”, in Analog Science Fiction / Science Fact[2], page 67:
      There was a happy group in Tallahassee swapping wives on the basis of molybdomancy.
    • 2003, Raymond Buckland, The Fortune-Telling Book[3], page 199:
      Dropping hot lead or tin into water was another method occasionally employed by the Etruscans in a version of molybdomancy, much like ceromancy.



  1. ^ Molybdomancy, Oxford Dictionaries