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Hex vs. Curse: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on February 12, 2024
Hex often implies a magical spell with malevolent purposes, while a curse is a more general term for any expressed wish that some form of adversity or misfortune will befall or attach to a person or thing.
Hex vs. Curse

Key Differences

Hex is typically used to describe a type of spell or enchantment often rooted in witchcraft or folk magic, primarily intended to bring bad luck or negative outcomes to its target. In contrast, a curse can be broader, encompassing any spoken word, charm, or expression wishing harm or misfortune, and is not limited to magical contexts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024
The term hex is often associated with specific rituals or incantations and has a slightly more mystical or supernatural connotation. It usually requires a specific action or ritual to cast. On the other hand, a curse can be as simple as a spoken word or phrase, not necessarily requiring a ritualistic or supernatural process.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024
In folklore, a hex is often seen as a form of targeted misfortune, sometimes requiring a physical object or specific condition to take effect. Conversely, a curse can be more general, not necessarily needing a physical medium, and can be invoked through sheer will or emotion.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024
The origins of the word hex can be traced back to Germanic or Pennsylvania Dutch traditions, and it retains a cultural specificity in its use. Curse, however, is a more universally understood term, found in numerous cultures and languages, often with religious or spiritual undertones.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024
Hex can sometimes have a less serious or lighter connotation, occasionally used in playful or less severe contexts. In contrast, a curse is often considered more severe and is taken seriously in many cultures as a real and potent expression of ill will.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Definition

A magical spell for bad luck or misfortune
A wish or expression for misfortune, not limited to magic
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Feb 12, 2024

Connotation

Mystical, specific to witchcraft or folk traditions
Broader, often serious, can be religious or secular
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Feb 12, 2024

Method of Casting

Requires specific rituals or actions
Can be as simple as spoken words
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Cultural Origins

Germanic, Pennsylvania Dutch
Universal, found in various cultures
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Feb 12, 2024

Severity

Often specific and targeted, can be less severe
Generally more serious and potent
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Hex and Curse Definitions

Hex

A spell or enchantment causing bad luck.
The witch cast a hex that turned his luck sour.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

A spoken word or phrase intended to bring bad luck.
His curse under his breath was heard by no one.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Hex

A magical curse brought about by a spell.
She placed a hex on the necklace, dooming whoever wore it.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

An appeal or prayer for evil or misfortune to befall someone or something.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Hex

An evil spell; a curse.
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Jan 16, 2024
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Curse

Evil or misfortune viewed as resulting from such an appeal
Believed that the amulet would ward off curses.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Hex

One that brings bad luck.
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Jan 16, 2024

Curse

A source or cause of evil; a scourge
“Selfishness is the greatest curse of the human race” (William Ewart Gladstone).
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Hex

To put a hex on.
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Jan 16, 2024

Curse

A profane word or phrase; a swearword.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Hex

To bring or wish bad luck to
"Chilly evening weather and a chain of minor snafus seemed to hex the $5,000-a-seat gala on Governors Island" (Newsweek).
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

(Ecclesiastical) A censure, ban, or anathema.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Hex

Hexagonal. Used of hardware, such as bolts and screws, with hexagonal heads or hexagonal sockets.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

(Offensive) Menstruation. Used with the.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Hex

(transitive) To cast a spell on (specifically an evil spell), to bewitch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

To invoke evil or misfortune upon; damn.
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Jan 16, 2024

Hex

An evil spell or curse.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

To swear at
Cursed the car because it wouldn't start.
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Jan 16, 2024

Hex

A witch.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Curse

To bring evil upon; afflict
Was cursed with crippling arthritis.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Hex

(rare) A spell (now rare but still found in compounds such as hex sign and hexcraft).
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

(Ecclesiastical) To put under a ban or anathema; excommunicate.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Hex

Clipping of hexadecimal
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

To utter curses; swear.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Hex

A hexagonal space on a game board.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

A supernatural detriment or hindrance; a bane.
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Jan 16, 2024

Hex

(climbing) a hexagon-shaped item of rock climbing equipment intended to be wedged into a crack or other opening in the rock.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

A prayer or imprecation that harm may befall someone.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Hex

An evil spell;
A witch put a curse on his whole family
He put the whammy on me
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

The cause of great harm, evil, or misfortune; that which brings evil or severe affliction; torment.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Hex

Cast a spell over someone or something; put a hex on someone or something
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

A vulgar epithet.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Hex

Of or pertaining to a number system having 16 as its base
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Jan 16, 2024

Curse

A woman's menses.
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Jan 16, 2024

Hex

A charm meant to bring misfortune.
The hex on the house made it impossible to sell.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

(transitive) To place a curse upon (a person or object).
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Hex

A bewitchment or sorcery causing harm.
His sudden misfortunes were the result of a hex.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

To call upon divine or supernatural power to send injury upon; to imprecate evil upon; to execrate.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Hex

A jinx or spell for ill will.
He believed the series of accidents was due to a hex.
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Jan 16, 2024

Curse

(transitive) To speak or shout a vulgar curse or epithet.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

(intransitive) To use offensive or morally inappropriate language.
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Jan 16, 2024

Curse

To bring great evil upon; to be the cause of serious harm or unhappiness to; to furnish with that which will be a cause of deep trouble; to afflict or injure grievously; to harass or torment.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

To call upon divine or supernatural power to send injury upon; to imprecate evil upon; to execrate.
Thou shalt not . . . curse the ruler of thy people.
Ere sunset I'll make thee curse the deed.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

To bring great evil upon; to be the cause of serious harm or unhappiness to; to furnish with that which will be a cause of deep trouble; to afflict or injure grievously; to harass or torment.
On impious realms and barbarous kings imposeThy plagues, and curse 'em with such sons as those.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

To utter imprecations or curses; to affirm or deny with imprecations; to swear.
Then began he to curse and to swear.
His spirits hear me,And yet I need must curse.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

An invocation of, or prayer for, harm or injury; malediction.
Lady, you know no rules of charity,Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

Evil pronounced or invoked upon another, solemnly, or in passion; subjection to, or sentence of, divine condemnation.
The priest shall write these curses in a book.
Curses, like chickens, come home to roost.
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Jan 16, 2024

Curse

The cause of great harm, evil, or misfortune; that which brings evil or severe affliction; torment.
The common curse of mankind, folly and ignorance.
All that I eat, or drink, or shall beget,Is propagated curse.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

Profane or obscene expression usually of surprise or anger;
Expletives were deleted
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

An appeal to some supernatural power to inflict evil on someone or some group
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Jan 16, 2024

Curse

An evil spell;
A witch put a curse on his whole family
He put the whammy on me
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Jan 16, 2024

Curse

Something causes misery or death;
The bane of my life
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Jan 16, 2024

Curse

A severe affliction
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Curse

Utter obscenities or profanities;
The drunken men were cursing loudly in the street
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Curse

Heap obscenities upon;
The taxi driver who felt he didn't get a high enough tip cursed the passenger
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Jan 16, 2024

Curse

Wish harm upon; invoke evil upon;
The bad witch cursed the child
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Jan 16, 2024

Curse

Exclude from a church or a religious community;
The gay priest was excommunicated when he married his partner
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Jan 16, 2024

Curse

A wish or invocation for harm or misfortune to befall someone.
She uttered a curse that he would never find happiness.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

An expression of ill will or misfortune.
His curse upon the village brought fear among the residents.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

A malediction or potent word meant to bring bad luck.
The ancient curse seemed to linger over the family for generations.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Curse

A pronouncement of doom or misfortune.
The prophet's curse foretold the kingdom's fall.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can anyone cast a hex?

Traditionally, casting a hex is associated with knowledge of witchcraft or folk magic.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024

Are curses always spoken?

Curses can be spoken but can also be expressed in other forms, like written or performed through rituals.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024

What is a hex?

A hex is a type of magical spell or enchantment usually intended to bring bad luck or misfortune.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024

Is a hex always negative?

Generally, hexes are negative as they aim to bring misfortune, though some cultures might use the term more lightly.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024

Is believing in curses common?

Belief in curses varies widely among different cultures and individuals.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024

What are the origins of the word 'hex'?

The word 'hex' has origins in Germanic or Pennsylvania Dutch traditions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024

Can a hex affect objects?

Yes, hexes can be cast on objects, places, or individuals.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024

How does a curse differ from a hex?

A curse is a broader term for a wish or expression of misfortune, not limited to magical contexts, whereas a hex is typically a magical spell with malevolent purposes.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024

Are curses always intentional?

Curses are generally intentional, but there are beliefs in unintentional or accidental cursing.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024

Can a curse affect an entire family or lineage?

Some beliefs hold that curses can affect families or lineages, spanning generations.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024

Do curses need to be verbalized to be effective?

While many curses are spoken, some traditions hold that written or even thought curses can be effective.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024

Are hexes reversible?

In many traditions, hexes can be reversed or nullified, often through specific countermeasures or rituals.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024

Is a curse always supernatural?

Not necessarily. While often associated with the supernatural, curses can also be viewed as symbolic expressions of ill will.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024

Can a person unknowingly be under a hex or curse?

It's possible for someone to be unaware of being hexed or cursed, especially in cultures where such beliefs are prevalent.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024

Can a curse be undone?

In many traditions, curses can be undone or countered, often through specific rituals or counter-curses.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024

How are hexes depicted in popular culture?

In popular culture, hexes are often depicted as spells or enchantments used by witches or magical beings, usually with negative effects.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024

Can hexes be used for good?

Typically, hexes are for malevolent purposes, but some traditions may use similar practices for protection or good luck.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024

Do curses have power in modern society?

The power of curses is subjective and often depends on individual beliefs and cultural backgrounds.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024

Can hexes be found in historical texts?

Yes, hexes appear in various historical texts, often in the context of folklore or magical practices.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024

Are hexes specific to any religion or belief system?

Hexes are more commonly associated with folk magic and witchcraft rather than specific religions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 12, 2024

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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