also psycho-graphic, "of or pertaining to psychography," 1856, from psychograph "supernatural photographic image or device" (1854) from psycho- + -graph. Also see psychography. Related: Psychographics.
—What next? Among the new patents announced is one to Adolphus Theodore Wagner, of Berlin, in the kingdom of Prussia, professor of music, for the invention of a "psychograph, or apparatus for indicating a person's thoughts by the agency of nervous electricity." [Arthur's Home Magazine, May 1854]
supernatural being in Scandinavian mythology and folklore, 1610s (with an isolated use mid-14c.), from Old Norse troll "giant being not of the human race, evil spirit, monster." Some speculate that it originally meant "creature that walks clumsily," and derives from Proto-Germanic *truzlan, from *truzlanan (see troll (v.)). But it seems to have been a general supernatural word, such as Swedish trolla "to charm, bewitch;" Old Norse trolldomr "witchcraft."
The old sagas tell of the troll-bull, a supernatural being in the form of a bull, as well as boar-trolls. There were troll-maidens, troll-wives, and troll-women; the trollman, a magician or wizard, and the troll-drum, used in Lappish magic rites. The word was popularized in literary English by 19c. antiquarians, but it has been current in the Shetlands and Orkneys since Viking times. The first record of the word in modern English is from a court document from the Shetlands, regarding a certain Catherine, who, among other things, was accused of "airt and pairt of witchcraft and sorcerie, in hanting and seeing the Trollis ryse out of the kyrk yeard of Hildiswick."
Originally conceived as a race of malevolent giants, they have suffered the same fate as the Celtic Danann and by 19c. were regarded by peasants in in Denmark and Sweden as dwarfs and imps supposed to live in caves or under the ground.
They are obliging and neighbourly; freely lending and borrowing, and elsewise keeping up a friendly intercourse with mankind. But they have a sad propensity to thieving, not only stealing provisions, but even women and children. [Thomas Keightley, "The Fairy Mythology," London, 1850]
c. 1300, revelacioun, "disclosure of information or knowledge to man by a divine or supernatural agency," from Old French revelacion and directly from Latin revelationem (nominative revelatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of revelare "unveil, uncover, lay bare" (see reveal).
The general meaning "disclosure of facts to those previously unaware of them" is attested from late 14c.; meaning "striking disclosure" is from 1862. As the name of the last book of the New Testament (Revelation of St. John), it is attested from late 14c. (see apocalypse); as simply Revelations, it is recorded by 1690s.
late 14c., coniuracioun, "conspiracy, a plot, act of plotting" (senses now obsolete), also "a calling upon something supernatural, act of invoking by a sacred name, invocation of spirits, magic spell or charm," from Old French conjuracion "spell, incantation, formula used in exorcism" and directly from Latin coniurationem (nominative coniuratio) "a swearing together, conspiracy," in Medieval Latin "enchantment," noun of action from past-participle stem of 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).