symbolic magic circle used by Buddhists in meditation, 1859, from Sanskrit mandala "disc, circle." Adopted 20c. in Jungian psychology as a symbol of unity of the self and completeness.
mid-14c., "action of observing or testing; an observation, test, or trial;" also "piece of evidence or empirical proof; feat of magic or sorcery," from Old French esperment "practical knowledge, cunning; enchantment, magic spell; trial, proof, example; lesson, sign, indication," from Latin experimentum "a trial, test, proof, experiment," noun of action from experiri "to try, test," from ex "out of" (see ex-) + peritus "experienced, tested," from PIE *per-yo-, suffixed form of root *per- (3) "to try, risk."
early 15c., "philosopher, sage," from Middle English wys "wise" (see wise (adj.)) + -ard. Compare Lithuanian žynystė "magic," žynys "sorcerer," žynė "witch," all from žinoti "to know." The ground sense is perhaps "to know the future." The meaning "one with magical power, one proficient in the occult sciences" did not emerge distinctly until c. 1550, the distinction between philosophy and magic being blurred in the Middle Ages. As a slang word meaning "excellent" it is recorded from 1922.
fem. proper name, also Guiniver, Guinever, Gwiniver; the name is Welsh, said to be from Gwenhwyvar, said to mean literally "white-cheeked," but "Magic Fairy" also has been proposed.
"magic," 1920s, probably of Creole origin; compare Gullah moco "witchcraft," Fula moco'o "medicine man." It was noted in 1935 as an underworld name for "any of the poisonous, habit-forming narcotics."
late 13c., "command on oath;" c. 1300, "summon by a sacred name, invoke by incantation or magic," from Old French conjurer "invoke, conjure" (12c.) and directly from Latin coniurare "to swear together; conspire," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + iurare "to swear," from ius (genitive iuris) "law, an oath" (see jurist).
The magical sense is from the notion of "constraining by spell" a demon to do one's bidding. Related: Conjured; conjuring. Phrase conjure up "cause to appear in the mind" (as if by magic) attested from 1580s.