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Borrowed from Latin occultus (hidden, secret).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈɒk.ʌlt/, /əˈkʌlt/
  • (US) IPA(key): /əˈkʌlt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌlt


occult (third-person singular simple present occults, present participle occulting, simple past and past participle occulted)

  1. (transitive, astronomy) To cover or hide from view.
    The Earth occults the Moon during a lunar eclipse.
  2. (transitive, rare) To dissimulate, conceal, or obfuscate.



occult (comparative more occult, superlative most occult)

  1. (medicine) Secret; hidden from general knowledge; undetected.
    occult blood loss; occult cancer
    • 1860, Isaac Taylor, “Mind in Form”, in Ultimate Civilization[1], page 178:
      This counter-influence is so much more conclusive [] because it is of an occult kind, and is so insensible in its advances as to escape observation.
  2. Related to the occult; pertaining to mysticism, magic, or astrology.
    • 2017, Pao Chang, Word Magic: The Powers & Occult Definitions of Words, →OCLC:
      Be aware that occult knowledge can be used for good or evil purposes.
  3. Esoteric.
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter VIII, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, →OCLC:
      Elbows almost touching they leaned at ease, idly reading the almost obliterated lines engraved there. ¶ "I never understood it," she observed, lightly scornful. "What occult meaning has a sun-dial for the spooney? I'm sure I don't want to read riddles in a strange gentleman's optics."

Derived terms[edit]



occult (uncountable)

  1. (usually with "the") Supernatural affairs.


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Related terms[edit]