early 15c., "conjurer of evil spirits," displacing earlier sorcer (late 14c.), from Old French sorcier, from Medieval Latin sortarius "teller of fortunes by lot; sorcerer" (also source of Spanish sortero, Italian sortiere; see sorcery). With superfluous -er, as in poulterer, upholsterer; perhaps the modern form of the word is back-formed from sorcery.
Sorcerer's apprentice translates l'apprenti sorcier, title of a symphonic poem by Paul Dukas (1897) based on a Goethe ballad ("Der Zauberlehrling," 1797), but the common figurative use of the term in English (1952) comes after Disney's "Fantasia" (1940).
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to line up."
It forms all or part of: assert; assertion; assort; consort; desert (v.) "to leave one's duty;" desertion; dissertation; ensorcell; exert; exsert; insert; seriatim; seriation; series; sermon; serried; sorcerer; sorcery; sort.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit sarat- "thread;" Greek eirein "to fasten together in rows;" Latin serere "to join, link, bind together," series "row, chain, series, sequence, succession;" Gothic sarwa (plural) "armor, arms;" Old Norse sörve "necklace of stringed pearls;" Old Irish sernaid "he joins together;" Welsh ystret "a row."
late 14c., "one skilled in magic or sorcery," from Old French magiciien "magician, sorcerer," from magique (see magic (n.)). As "practitioner of legerdemain," by 1590s.
"one who enchants or practices enchantment, a sorcerer or magician;" also "one who charms or delights," c. 1300, enchauntour, agent noun from enchant, or from Old French enchanteor "magician; singer; mountebank," from Latin incantator.
late 14c., nygromanser, nigromauncere, "sorcerer, adept in black magic," from Old French nigromansere, from nigromancie (see necromancy). Properly "one who communicates with the dead" but typically used in a broader sense in English.