1590s, earlier nepenthes (1570s), "a drug or magic potion of Egypt mentioned in the 'Odyssey' as capable of banishing grief or trouble from the mind," from Greek nēpenthēs, from nē- "no, not" (from PIE root *ne- "not") + penthos "pain, grief," from PIE root *kwent(h)- "to suffer." The -s is a proper part of the word, but likely was mistaken in English as a plural affix and dropped. In medical use, "a drug having sedative properties" (1680s).
c. 1300, pocioun "medicinal drink, dose of liquid medicine or poison," from Old French pocion "potion, draught, medicine" (12c.), from Latin potionem (nominative potio) "a potion, a drinking," also "poisonous draught, magic potion" (source also of Spanish pocion "potion," ponzoña "poison," Italian pozione "potion"), from potus, irregular past participle of potare "to drink," from PIE root *po(i)- "to drink." A doublet of poison (n.). By early 15c. specifically as a magical or enchanted drink.
1530s, "secret, not divulged," from French occulte and directly from Latin occultus "hidden, concealed, secret," past participle of occulere "cover over, conceal," from assimilated form of ob "over" (see ob-) + a verb related to celare "to hide" (from PIE root *kel- (1) "to cover, conceal, save"). Meaning "not apprehended by the mind, beyond the range of understanding" is from 1540s. The association with the supernatural sciences (magic, alchemy, astrology, etc.) dates from 1630s. A verb occult "to keep secret, conceal" (c.1500, from Latin occultare) is obsolete.
It forms all or part of: beer; bever; beverage; bib; bibitory; bibulous; hibachi; imbibe; imbrue; pinocytosis; pirogi; poison; potable; potation; potion; symposium.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit pati "drinks," panam "beverage;" Greek pinein "to drink," poton "that which one drinks," potos "drinking bout;" Latin potare "to drink," potio "a potion, a drinking," also "poisonous draught, magic potion;" Old Church Slavonic piti "to drink," pivo "beverage."
a modern book-form to represent Old English run, rune "secret, mystery, dark mysterious statement, (secret) council," also "a runic letter" (runstæf), from Proto-Germanic *runo (source also of Old Norse run "a secret, magic sign, runic character," Old High German runa "a secret conversation, whisper," Gothic runa), from PIE *ru-no-, source of technical terms of magic in Germanic and Celtic (source also of Gaelic run "a secret, mystery, craft, deceit, purpose, intention, desire," Welsh rhin "a secret, charm, virtue"). Also see Runnymede.
The word entered Middle English as roun and by normal evolution would have become Modern English *rown, but it died out mid-15c. when the use of runes did. The modern usage is from late 17c., from German philologists who had reintroduced the word in their writings from a Scandinavian source (such as Danish rune, from Old Norse run).
The presumption often is that the magical sense was the original one in the word and the use of runes as letters was secondary to ancient Germanic peoples, but this is questioned by some linguists. The runic alphabet itself is believed to have developed by 2c. C.E. from contact with Greek writing, with the letters modified to be more easily cut into wood or stone. Related: Runed; runecraft.
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).
1640s, "dowsing, use of a divining rod" (especially to find things hidden in the earth, ores or underground water), with -mancy "divination by means of" (from Greek manteia "divination, oracle") + Greek rhabdos "rod, wand; magic wand; fishing rod; spear-shaft; a staff of office; a rod for chastisement; twig, stick." Greek rhabdos is from PIE *wer- (2), base of roots meaning "to turn, bend" (source also of Lithuanian virbas "twig, branch, scion, rod," Latin verbena "leaves and branches of laurel").
The Greek noun was used to represent Roman fasces. Related: Rhabdomantic; rhabdomancer.
c. 1300, "to recite or cast a magic spell," from Old French charmer (13c.) "to enchant, to fill (someone) with desire (for something); to protect, cure, treat; to maltreat, harm," from Late Latin carminare, from Latin carmen "song, verse, enchantment, religious formula" (see charm (n.)). In Old French used alike of magical and non-magical activity. In English, "to win over by treating pleasingly, delight" from mid-15c.; weaker sense of "be highly pleasing" is by early 18c. Charmed (short for I am charmed) as a conventional reply to a greeting or meeting is attested by 1825.