Meaning of “magic” in the English Dictionary

"magic" in British English

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magicnoun [ U ]

uk /ˈmædʒ.ɪk/ us /ˈmædʒ.ɪk/

magic noun [ U ] (SPECIAL POWER)

A2 the use of special powers to make things happen that would usually be impossible, such as in stories for children:

The group is known for its belief in witchcraft and magic.
As if by magic/Like magic, the car changes into a boat when it hits the water.

A2 the skill of performing tricks to entertain people, such as making things appear and disappear and pretending to cut someone in half:

He's a comedian who also does magic.

More examples

  • The magic show had a lot of audience participation, with people shouting things to the performers and going up on stage.
  • It seems that some people still believe in sorcery and black magic.
  • My niece was showing me all the tricks that she's learned to do with her new magic set.
  • It disappeared as if by magic.
  • She used magic to cure illnesses.

magicadjective

uk /ˈmædʒ.ɪk/ us /ˈmædʒ.ɪk/

A2 with special powers:

The witch put a magic spell on the prince and turned him into a frog.
I'll show you a magic trick.

B1 happening in an unusual or unexpected way, or easily or quickly:

There's no magic solution to the problem.
There's no magic formula for winning - just lots of hard work.

More examples

  • There's no magic formula for success.
  • The fairy godmother waved her magic wand over the cabbages and they turned into horses.
  • She was given a magic charm to ward off evil spirits.
  • He seems to just think I can wave a magic wand and everything will be all right.
  • There is no magic solution to your problems.

Idiom(s)

magicexclamation

uk /ˈmædʒ.ɪk/ us /ˈmædʒ.ɪk/ UK old-fashioned informal

(Definition of “magic” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"magic" in American English

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magicnoun [ U ]

us /ˈmædʒ·ɪk/

magic noun [ U ] (IMAGINARY POWER)

(esp. in stories for children) the use of special powers to make things happen that would usually be impossible:

a tale of witchcraft and magic

Magic is also the skill of performing tricks to entertain people, such as making things seem to appear and disappear, or the tricks performed:

My daughter loves doing magic.

magic noun [ U ] (SPECIAL QUALITY)

a special, exciting quality that makes something or someone different and better than others:

As an actress, she has lost none of her magic, and she still is thrilling to watch.

(Definition of “magic” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)