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Witch vs. Mage: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on January 22, 2024
A witch is traditionally understood as a person, often a woman, practicing sorcery or magic, often with a connection to nature or the occult, while a mage is a practitioner of magic, typically with a focus on wisdom, knowledge, and arcane arts.
Witch vs. Mage

Key Differences

Historically, witches were often women believed to possess supernatural powers, sometimes associated with evil or malevolence. Mages, on the other hand, were seen as wise men or sages, skilled in the arts of magic and often serving as advisors.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024
In various cultures, witches are depicted with rituals, spells, and a connection to nature or the supernatural. Mages are often portrayed as scholars of the mystical, delving into arcane knowledge and mastering magical arts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024
The term witch has a strong historical association with women and is often linked with witch-hunts and persecution. Mage, however, is a gender-neutral term usually not linked with such historical events.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024
Witches are often associated with spellcasting, herbalism, and a connection to the spiritual or occult world. Mages are typically portrayed as having extensive knowledge of magical theory, alchemy, and a wide range of magical abilities.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024
The perception of witches has varied greatly, often viewed with suspicion or fear. Mages, in contrast, have been seen as respected figures of wisdom and power, less frequently associated with fear or superstition.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Historical Association

Often women, linked with witch-hunts
Seen as wise men or sages
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Cultural Role

Connected to nature, spells, rituals
Scholars of arcane knowledge, magic
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Gender Connotation

Historically female-centric
Gender-neutral
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Typical Abilities

Spellcasting, herbalism, spiritualism
Magical theory, alchemy, diverse magic
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Jan 22, 2024

Social Perception

Varied, often negative
Generally respected, less stigmatized
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024
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Witch and Mage Definitions

Witch

In folklore, witches are sometimes seen as practitioners of dark arts.
The villagers feared the witch who lived in the forest.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Mage

A mage is a practitioner of magic, often involved in studying arcane arts.
The mage spent hours studying ancient magical texts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Witch

A person, especially a woman, claiming or popularly believed to possess magical powers and practice sorcery.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Mage

Mages are typically seen as wise and knowledgeable in mystical lore.
The mage advised the king on matters of the supernatural.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Witch

A believer or follower of Wicca; a Wiccan.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024
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Mage

In fantasy, mages wield powerful magical abilities for various purposes.
The mage summoned a protective barrier during the battle.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Witch

(Offensive) An old woman considered to be ugly or frightening.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Mage

Mages often seek understanding and control over magical forces.
The mage experimented with different elements to master his craft.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Witch

A woman considered to be spiteful or overbearing.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Mage

A mage can be a mentor or guide in magical and mystical matters.
The young apprentice looked up to the mage as a mentor.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Witch

(Informal) A woman or girl considered to be charming or fascinating.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Mage

A magician or sorcerer.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

One particularly skilled or competent at one's craft
"A witch of a writer, [she] is capable of developing an intensity that verges on ferocity" (Peter S. Prescott).
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Mage

A magician, wizard or sorcerer.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

To work or cast a spell on; bewitch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Mage

(obsolete) magus: a Zoroastrian priest.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

To cause, bring, or effect by witchcraft.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Mage

A magician.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

To use a divining rod to find underground water or minerals; dowse.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

A person who practices witchcraft.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

(now usually particularly) A woman who is learned in and actively practices witchcraft.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

An ugly or unpleasant woman.
I hate that old witch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

One who exercises more-than-common power of attraction; a charming or bewitching person.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

One given to mischief, especially a woman or child.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

(geometry) A certain curve of the third order, described by Maria Agnesi under the name versiera.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

The storm petrel.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

Any of a number of flatfish:
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

Glyptocephalus cynoglossus (Torbay sole), found in the North Atlantic.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis (megrim), found in the North Atlantic.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

Arnoglossus scapha, found near New Zealand.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

The Indomalayan butterfly Araotes lapithis, of the family Lycaenidae.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

A cone of paper which is placed in a vessel of lard or other fat and used as a taper.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

(intransitive) To dowse for water.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

To practise witchcraft.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

(transitive) To bewitch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

A cone of paper which is placed in a vessel of lard or other fat, and used as a taper.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

One who practices the black art, or magic; one regarded as possessing supernatural or magical power by compact with an evil spirit, esp. with the Devil; a sorcerer or sorceress; - now applied chiefly or only to women, but formerly used of men as well.
There was a man in that city whose name was Simon, a witch.
He can not abide the old woman of Brentford; he swears she's a witch.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

An ugly old woman; a hag.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

One who exercises more than common power of attraction; a charming or bewitching person; also, one given to mischief; - said especially of a woman or child.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

A certain curve of the third order, described by Maria Agnesi under the name versiera.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

The stormy petrel.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

A Wiccan; an adherent or practitioner of Wicca, a religion which in different forms may be paganistic and nature-oriented, or ditheistic. The term witch applies to both male and female adherents in this sense.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

To bewitch; to fascinate; to enchant.
[I 'll] witch sweet ladies with my words and looks.
Whether within us or withoutThe spell of this illusion beThat witches us to hear and see.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

A female sorcerer or magician
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

A being (usually female) imagined to have special powers derived from the devil
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

An ugly evil-looking old woman
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

Cast a spell over someone or something; put a hex on someone or something
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Witch

A witch is often portrayed as a woman skilled in magic and sorcery.
The witch concocted a potion using rare herbs.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Witch

Witches are frequently associated with spellcasting and rituals.
The witch chanted softly, casting a spell.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Witch

Witches often have a deep connection to nature and the spiritual realm.
The witch communicated with spirits under the full moon.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Witch

Historically, witches were subjects of persecution and witch trials.
In history, many accused witches faced trials and injustice.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can a mage also be a wizard?

Yes, the terms mage and wizard are often used interchangeably.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Are witches solitary practitioners?

Witches can be solitary or part of covens or groups.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Is witchcraft always associated with evil?

No, witchcraft varies greatly in portrayal, from malevolent to benevolent.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Can witches fly on brooms?

This is a common folklore element, but not a universal trait of witches.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Are witches always female?

While traditionally depicted as female, the term can apply to any gender.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Do mages have a specific dress code?

In popular culture, they are often depicted with robes, but there's no strict dress code.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Do mages always use wands or staffs?

Not always; some mages are portrayed using magical artifacts, but it's not a requirement.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Do witches have familiars?

In many traditions and stories, witches have animal familiars.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Are mages always good characters in stories?

Mages can be portrayed as good, evil, or morally ambiguous.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Are witches always human?

In some stories, witches can be otherworldly or supernatural beings.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Do mages use magic for combat?

Mages can use magic for various purposes, including combat, depending on the context.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Are all witches part of a coven?

Not necessarily; some witches practice independently.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Can witches curse people?

In folklore and fiction, witches are sometimes portrayed as casting curses.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Do witches celebrate specific holidays?

In various traditions, witches observe holidays like solstices or equinoxes.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Do mages have a code of ethics?

In many stories, mages follow a code of ethics or rules, but it varies by context.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Is the study of alchemy exclusive to mages?

While common, alchemy is not exclusive to mages and can be part of other magical practices.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Is witchcraft hereditary?

In some stories, witchcraft is portrayed as hereditary, but it varies.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Can mages control elements?

Element control is a common ability attributed to mages in fantasy genres.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Is there a hierarchy among mages?

In some fantasy settings, mages have a structured hierarchy or order.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Are mages always old and bearded?

This is a stereotype; mages can vary in age and appearance.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
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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