Sally M (sallymn) wrote in 1word1day,
Sally M

Sunday Word: Ensorcelled, ensorceled

Ensorcelled, ensorceled [en-sawr-suhl -d]

past tense verb:
bewitched, enchanted


'Charity,' drawing from W W's 'The Monkey's Paw,' is about a cursed selfie stick that charms its ensorcelled owners into thinking they're taking the best pictures of their lives. (Sam Sacks, Fiction: 'Reality and Other Stories' Review, The Wall Street Journal, March 2021)

How has this seemingly extremely conventional survival game ensorcelled so many people? I stuck on my big beard and picked up my axe, determined to find out. (Fraser Brown, Valheim is better because it rejects boring survival systems, PCGamer, February 2021)

Light gathered in awesome brilliance on the ledge about the pit, thickening like a solid substance, so that the pit, the island, with its great curving horns, and the prisoner upon the draping silvery veil seemed frozen within glittering crystal. The scene was fantastic nightmare ensorcelled into hideous permanence. (Stanley Mullen, The Pit Of Nympthons)


from ensorcel, 'to bewitch,' 1540s, from French ensorceller, from Old French ensorceler, a dissimilation of ensorcerer from en- + verb from sorcier 'sorcerer, wizard'

A rare word in English until Richard Burton took it for The Tale of the Ensorcelled Prince, a translation of a title of one of the Arabian Nights tales (1885). The word had been used in an earlier (1838) partial translation, 'The Book of The Thousand Nights and One Night,' by Henry Torrens, whose book Burton knew and admired. It turns up, once, in George Puttenham's 'Arte of English Poesie' (1589), which was reprinted in the early 19th century. Perhaps Torrens saw it there.

Tags: e, french, old french, verb, wordsmith: sallymn

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