(redirected from cantrips)


1. Scots A magic spell; a witch's trick.
2. Chiefly British A deceptive move; a sham.

[Origin unknown.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈkæntrɪp) or


1. a magic spell
2. (often plural) a mischievous trick
(of an effect) produced by black magic
[C18: Scottish, of unknown origin]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈkɑn trɪp)

1. Chiefly Scot. a magic spell; trick by sorcery.
2. Chiefly Brit. artful shamming meant to deceive.
[1710–20; appar. dissimilated variant of Old English calcatrippe; see caltrop]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


A Scottish word for a magic spell.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
WOOD Jist fin we were reddin-up efter the coorse cantrips o snell wins an roch shooers - tyin doon plastic frames, broken gless an orra trock blaain ower fae ither gairdens - aa o a suddenty it's spring again at'll bring again tulips fae Amsterdam or fariver, an birslin in near topical climes wis a case o on wi the daungers, happin achin beens, an ootside wi the gairdenin tools.
Harris spins a skein of clever word play, light humour and intoxicating fantasy which wraps the reader up in cantrips, runes and glams.
Goodare; and Joyce Miller, "Cantrips and Carlins: Magic, Medicine and Society in the Presbyteries of Haddington and Stirling, 1603-1688" (Ph.D.
Her thesis at Stirling University was called Cantrips and Carlins - Magic, Medicine and Society in 17th Century Scotland.