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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for witcraft in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)


From wit +‎ -craft. 1573 by Ralph Lever, The Arte of Reason, rightly termed, Witcraft, teaching a perfect way to argue and dispute


witcraft (uncountable)

  1. Art or skill of the mind; mental skill; contrivance; invention; the art of wit.
    • 1996, Michael Billig, Arguing and thinking: a rhetorical approach to social psychology:
      In its pure form, witcraft can be seen as a democratic art. because it does not depend upon technical expertise. Within an ideal context of pure witcraft, the powerful and the powerless meet upon equal terms.
  2. The art of reasoning; logic.
    It argues that a rhetorical approach maintains space for agency on the behalf of employees (through the witcraft of argument) ... — Gillian Symon, Developing the Political Perspective on Technological Change Through Rhetorical Analysis, Management Communication Quarterly, Vol. 22, No. 1., 2008

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