occult

Dark and mysterious, the occult is a kind of supernatural power or magic. If you see your neighbor chanting over a giant vat of bubbling brew in the middle of the night, there's a chance he's dabbling in the occult.

The word occult has its roots in the Latin occultus, meaning “hidden, secret.” That's why it can also be used as both a noun referring to black magic and an adjective meaning "difficult to see." Quipped the famous physicist Heinz Pagels, “I like to browse in occult bookshops if for no other reason than to refresh my commitment to science.”

Definitions of occult
  1. noun
    supernatural forces and events and beings collectively
    synonyms: supernatural
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    type of:
    causal agency, causal agent, cause
    any entity that produces an effect or is responsible for events or results
  2. noun
    supernatural practices and techniques
    “he is a student of the occult
    synonyms: occult arts
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    type of:
    pattern, practice
    a customary way of operation or behavior
  3. adjective
    having an import not apparent to the senses nor obvious to the intelligence; beyond ordinary understanding
    occult lore”
    synonyms: mysterious, mystic, mystical, orphic, secret
    esoteric
    confined to and understandable by only an enlightened inner circle
  4. verb
    hide from view
    “The lids were occulting her eyes”
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    type of:
    conceal, hold back, hold in
    hold back; keep from being perceived by others
  5. verb
    become concealed or hidden from view or have its light extinguished
    “The beam of light occults every so often”
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    type of:
    change
    undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature
  6. verb
    cause an eclipse of (a celestial body) by intervention
    “Planets and stars often are occulted by other celestial bodies”
    synonyms: eclipse
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    type of:
    overshadow
    cast a shadow upon
  7. adjective
    hidden and difficult to see
    “an occult fracture”
    occult blood in the stool”
    Synonyms:
    invisible, unseeable
    impossible or nearly impossible to see; imperceptible by the eye
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