Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Of Wizards, Warlocks,Sorcerers,Mages ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: Of Wizards, Warlocks,Sorcerers,Mages
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Books and Literature
Asked by: myxlplix-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 10 Jul 2002 06:55 PDT
Expires: 09 Aug 2002 06:55 PDT
Question ID: 38123
What is the difference between Wizards, Warlocks, Sorcerers, and Mages
(including their female counterparts). Please include both "real"
definitions such as those given by practicing individuals and those
from such fantasy worlds as Dungeons and Dragons. I'm looking for a
comprehensive answer that distinguishes each type of magic user from
the other.
Subject: Re: Of Wizards, Warlocks,Sorcerers,Mages
Answered By: thx1138-ga on 10 Jul 2002 09:20 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi myxlplix and thanks for this magical question.

This was a much more difficult question to answer than I first thought
it would be.  This is due to the fact that in both the “Factual” (and
I mean that word in its loosest terms throughout my answer) and
“Fantasy” worlds there is much contradiction between gender specific
terms and actual definitions of these people/characters and their
However, having waded through hundreds of “magic” sites I have been
able to come up with the definitions below.

Witch: Factual, non gender specific
“Those who practice Witchcraft are called Witches, no matter their
“Many Wiccans prefer not to use the terms "Witchcraft" or "Witch" in
association with their religion, as they believe the word has too many
negative connotations. Many Pagans who self-identify as Witches do so
to reclaim or redefine the word. The individual's preference should
determine the use of terms. The terms "Wiccan" and "Witch" apply to
both male and female practitioners. “

Witch: Fantasy, often female (but not always)
“A witch is a more powerful feminine version of a Wizard”

Warlock: Factual, non gender specific
“A very common misconception is that a warlock is a male Witch. This
could not be further from the truth. Warlock means "oath breaker," and
can be applied to either sex. A Warlock is someone who betrays the
trust of a coven. “

Warlock: Fantasy, usually male (but not always)
“Warlock- A Warlock is a mixture of Mage and Warrior. These
necromantic warriors are skilled in the ways of physical combat, but
unlike the Warrior they picked up a few books and studied. Because
then are literate, they're able to cast spells”

Sorcerer: Factual, non gender specific (ie. sorceress is incorrect)
“A sorcerer is a being (of any race--not just human) that has the
knowledge, or possesses an innate talent, that allows him/her to draw
upon the magical energies generated by themselves, their environment,
or the ability to channel the magic flow of another, to accomplish any
number of tasks. Any individual can become a sorcerer, provided he/she
has the drive to undergo the training, and can take the strains of
channelling magical energy.”

Sorcerer: Fantasy
“A sorcerer is a natural spellcaster who gains the ability to use
magic without formal study. Unlike a wizard a sorcerer does not have
to spend hours in study to leam to cast magic they get this ability
with rest and reflection. But the path of a sorcerer is not perfect.”

Wizard: Factual
“Wizard" is a specifically masculine term, deriving from Anglo-Saxon
"wysard": "wise one." A wizard is a lore-master, especially of arcane
knowledge (hence such usages as "computer wizard"), as well as a
magickal practitioner. It is not commonly used to describe a
practitioner of Wicca/Witchcraft.”

Wizardess: Only exists in fantasy.

Mage:Factual - Non gender specific term.
“A mage is a shaman or medicine person ... Magic refers to the ritual
activities of a mage ... is a person who exercises power within the
rubric of the universe of power, engaging in ritual actions that
result in transformations”

Mage: Fantasy - Non gender specific term.
“A Mage is a master of intellect and manipulator of elemental
energies, often called mana. These energies can only be absorbed,
stored, and channeled by those trained in the art of magic. Through
the use of magic, mages have the ability to control and change the
very world we live in.”

Below are quotes from relevant websites that you might find
interesting (note the huge contradictions between them)

Factual Site:
“A sorcerer is a person who pretends to have magic powers, and
practices witchcraft.”

Factual Site:
“f. "A wizard." Today, a wizard is a male witch. However, this meaning
is not present in the Hebrew. While we are not sure as to all the
involvement, the original word simply denoted "a wise one." In this
context, however, the reference is to esoteric wisdom obtained by
supernatural means.”

Factual Site:
 “"Wizard" is a specifically masculine term, deriving from Anglo-Saxon
"wysard": "wise one." A wizard is a lore-master, especially of arcane
knowledge (hence such usages as "computer wizard"), as well as a
magickal practitioner. It is not commonly used to describe a
practitioner of Wicca/Witchcraft.”

Factual Site:
“Sorcery: The use of power gained from the assistance or control of
evil spirits especially for divining; A wizard is a sorcerer - one
possessing magical influence. “

Factual Site:
Wizardry - a wizard is a male where as a female is a witch

Factual Site:
“Webster’s dictionary defines a witch as a woman supposed to have
super-natural power by a compact with evil spirits, also called a
sorceress, or psychic.
A wizard is a male counterpart, or a male witch, or sorcerer or
Sorcerer is defined as one who uses evil, supernatural power over
people, and their affairs, mind, health, finances, everything of
concern to them included, it is as witchcraft, black magic etc”

Factual and Fantasy definitions:
"Sorcerers create magic the way poets create poems, with inborn talent
honed by practice." "Wizards depend on intensive study to create their
magic. ... For a wizard, magic is not a talent but a deliberate
rewarding art."

Fantasy site:
“A mage is a person with an innate understanding of arcane, and can
use it as easily as breathing. This is not a gender specific term.
A wizard is a person without an innate understanding of arcane, and
requires the use of chants, spells, and other vocalisations to use the
arcane. This is not a gender specific term.
A witch is a female mage or a female wizard. “

Fantasy Site:
Q. What's the difference between a wizard and a sorcerer?
A. In FC, that is, a wizard studies all fields of magic, while a
sorcerer will master one field of magic. Note; sorcerers start out as

Thank you for the question and if you found my answer helpful
please do not hesitate to rate it, and if you have any doubts
regarding my answer just ask for a clarification and I will be happy
to help.


Some of the Search Strategies I used:
"a wizard is a " witch

Wizards  Warlocks  Sorcerers  Mages
myxlplix-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Thank you for the answer. I do believe there is enough information for
me to work from in your answer. At the very least you have at
shortened my own search time considerably. Hopefully you will see the
information reflected in the world setting of my book.

Subject: Re: Of Wizards, Warlocks,Sorcerers,Mages
From: grimace-ga on 10 Jul 2002 10:47 PDT
What a great question and, imho, a great answer.

I recently spent many happy hours marking essays on Arthur Miller's
'The Crucible', a play about the 17th century witch hunt in Salem,
Massachusetts. An alarming number of students believed that male
defendants at the witch trials were accused of being *wizards* and
practicing wizardry. I blame Harry Potter...
Subject: Re: Of Wizards, Warlocks,Sorcerers,Mages
From: thx1138-ga on 10 Jul 2002 19:57 PDT
Hi myxlplix,

Thank you for the rating and the nice comment. How interesting you are
writing a book! Might I ask when the book is to be published? I would
be interested to read it.

Good luck with it!

All the best 
Subject: Re: Of Wizards, Warlocks,Sorcerers,Mages
From: myxlplix-ga on 15 Aug 2002 17:02 PDT
It will be a while before I am finished (Thank God for the great
grammarians out there that like correcting grammer :)) and you can
never guarantee that it will be published. I'm tempted to post a
question here to get five or six people to proof read it and give me
feed back on it (this chapter was dry that character is stupid )though
the details would have to be carefully worked out. I finally decided
to follow the advice: Find work that you love and you will never work
again. I really enjoy writting and then getting feed back from others
on it (especially when it is good :)) I truly love watching someone
read a short story that I have written for I can watch the expressions
on their face as I walk them through my very own special wonderland. I
will feel that the book is fit for publication if and only if those
that do the proof reading feel as if they have been put through a
emotional wringer after they have read the book and feel slightly
drained from keeping up with the hero. Then I know I have written a
good book.
Subject: Re: Of Wizards, Warlocks,Sorcerers,Mages
From: thx1138-ga on 15 Aug 2002 18:03 PDT
Hi again myxlplix!

It really sounds like you have the writing bug, and that you are
really dedicated to your chosen profession!  I can think of a couple
of researchers who would be good at reviewing your book, but I don’t
know how it would work in practice, because if you publish one
question you would get one answer.  Some options might be to post the
same question 3 or 4 times asking for different reviewers or, you
could post the bio of different characters and ask for suggestions?
Anyway, we had a question sometime ago, which I thought you might find
interesting.  It’s a website that offers self publishing in small
numbers of copies.  I personally found it interesting, as they say
“there is a book in everyone” right? So I book marked it for future
reference :) Here it is

Good Luck !


Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy