Incantation  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

An incantation or incantations are the words spoken during a ritual, either a hymn or prayer invoking or praising a deity, or in magic, occultism, witchcraft with the intention of casting a spell on an object or a person. The term derives from Latin incantare (tr.), meaning "to chant (a magical spell) upon," from in- "into, upon" and cantare "to sing".

In medieval literature, folklore, fairy tales and modern fantasy fiction, enchantments (from the Old French enchantement) are charms or spells. The term was loaned into English since around AD 1300. The corresponding native English term being galdor "song, spell". It has led to the terms enchanter and enchantress, for those who use enchantments.

The weakened sense "delight" (compare the same development of charm) is modern, first attested in 1593 (OED).


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Incantation" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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