Witch vs. Wizard: Know the Difference
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on November 10, 2023
A witch is typically a female associated with magical abilities, often portrayed in folklore as practicing sorcery, whereas a wizard is often a male figure depicted as possessing profound magical knowledge or skill.
Often seen as malevolent
Usually viewed as sagacious
Role in Stories
Can be a healer, curse caster, or sage
Often a mentor or source of wisdom
Source of Power
Nature, spirits, deities
Study, knowledge, innate ability
Persecuted, especially in the past
Revered, consulted for guidance
Witch and Wizard Definitions
A figure in folklore, often with a connection to the occult.
Children dressed as witches for the Halloween parade.
A person exceptionally skilled in a particular area.
He was a wizard with computers, fixing any issue.
A practitioner of Wicca or similar neopagan religions.
The modern witch held a ritual for the solstice.
A sage or wise man with mystical insight.
The wizard foresaw the coming of a great king.
A spiteful or enchanting woman.
In his stories, she was the witch who lured adventurers.
An adept in magical arts and scholarly knowledge.
The old wizard taught the secrets of alchemy.
A person, especially a woman, claiming or popularly believed to possess magical powers and practice sorcery.
One who practices magic; a sorcerer or magician.
A believer or follower of Wicca; a Wiccan.
A skilled or clever person
A wizard at math.
(Offensive) An old woman considered to be ugly or frightening.
(Archaic) A sage.
A woman considered to be spiteful or overbearing.
Chiefly British Slang Excellent.
(Informal) A woman or girl considered to be charming or fascinating.
(Archaic) Of or relating to wizards or wizardry.
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).
Someone, usually male, who uses (or has skill with) magic, mystic items, and magical and mystical practices.
You're a wizard, Harry
To work or cast a spell on; bewitch.
One who is especially skilled or unusually talented in a particular field.
He was a financial wizard, capable of predicting the movements of the stock markets.
To cause, bring, or effect by witchcraft.
(computing) A computer program or script used to simplify complex operations, often for an inexperienced user.
Use the "Add Network Connection" wizard to connect to a network in a series of simple steps.
To use a divining rod to find underground water or minerals; dowse.
(Internet) One of the administrators of a multi-user dungeon.
A person who practices witchcraft.
(obsolete) A wise man; a sage.
(now usually particularly) A woman who is learned in and actively practices witchcraft.
(internet slang) A virgin over the age of 30.
An ugly or unpleasant woman.
I hate that old witch.
Fine, superb (originally RAF slang).
One who exercises more-than-common power of attraction; a charming or bewitching person.
(intransitive) To practice wizardry.
One given to mischief, especially a woman or child.
(transitive) To conjure.
(geometry) A certain curve of the third order, described by Maria Agnesi under the name versiera.
A wise man; a sage.
See how from far upon the eastern roadThe star-led wizards [Magi] haste with odors sweet!
The storm petrel.
One devoted to the black art; a magician; a conjurer; a sorcerer; an enchanter.
The wily wizard must be caught.
Any of a number of flatfish:
Glyptocephalus cynoglossus (Torbay sole), found in the North Atlantic.
Haunted by wizards.
Where Deva spreads her wizard stream.
Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis (megrim), found in the North Atlantic.
Someone who is dazzlingly skilled in any field
Arnoglossus scapha, found near New Zealand.
One who practices magic or sorcery
The Indomalayan butterfly Araotes lapithis, of the family Lycaenidae.
Possessing or using or characteristic of or appropriate to supernatural powers;
Magic signs that protect against adverse influence
A magical spell
'tis now the very witching time of night
A cone of paper which is placed in a vessel of lard or other fat and used as a taper.
A man with magical powers.
The wizard summoned a storm with a wave of his wand.
(intransitive) To dowse for water.
A conjurer or sorcerer in tales and folklore.
The wizard in the tale protected the realm with his magic.
To practise witchcraft.
(transitive) To bewitch.
A cone of paper which is placed in a vessel of lard or other fat, and used as a taper.
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.
An ugly old woman; a hag.
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.
A certain curve of the third order, described by Maria Agnesi under the name versiera.
The stormy petrel.
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.
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.
A female sorcerer or magician
A being (usually female) imagined to have special powers derived from the devil
An ugly evil-looking old woman
Cast a spell over someone or something; put a hex on someone or something
A woman thought to have magic powers.
The village witch concocted potions for healing.
Someone practicing witchcraft, often with a focus on natural magic.
The witch read the stars and brewed her spells.
Repeatedly Asked Queries
Are wizards always good in stories?
Not always; they can be good, evil, or morally ambiguous.
Is 'witch' always used for females?
Traditionally, yes, but contemporary usage can be gender-neutral.
Are witches always evil in stories?
No, witches can be good or evil, depending on the narrative.
What's a familiar in relation to witches?
A familiar is an animal companion believed to assist witches with their magic.
Can men be called witches?
Yes, men can be called witches, especially in modern Wiccan practices.
Is 'wizard' a male-only term?
It is traditionally male, but the term can be used for any gender in modern fantasy.
Can witchcraft be practiced without belief in the supernatural?
Yes, some view witchcraft as a symbolic practice rather than literal magic.
Do wizards always have beards?
No, it's a common stereotype but not a requirement.
Is wizardry always learned?
In many stories, wizardry requires study, but some wizards are born with innate abilities.
Are wizards real?
Wizards as magical beings are fictional, but some people may identify as wizards in a spiritual or cultural sense.
Do witches and wizards always have supernatural powers?
In most cultural depictions, yes, they possess some form of magic.
Do all wizards use wands?
Wands are common tools, but not all wizards in stories use them.
Do wizards always have magical battles?
Not always; many stories focus on wisdom and knowledge over combat.
Are witches real?
There are people who identify as witches and practice witchcraft in various forms.
Is there a difference in the magic practiced by witches and wizards?
In folklore, witches' magic is often more earthy and nature-based, while wizards' magic is more academic.
Do witches have a specific dress code?
No, the stereotypical witch attire is largely a creation of popular culture.
Do witches worship Satan?
This is a misconception; many witches practice nature-based spirituality.
What is a coven?
A coven is a gathering or group of witches for the practice of witchcraft.
What is an apprentice to a wizard called?
They are often simply called apprentices or sometimes initiates.
Are there modern representations of witches and wizards?
Yes, witches and wizards are popular in contemporary media, often depicted with a modern twist.
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Written byShumaila 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.