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2 definitions found
 for witches'' butter
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Nostoc \Nos"toc\, prop. n. [F.] (Bot.)
     A genus of algae. The plants are composed of moniliform cells
     imbedded in a gelatinous substance.
     [1913 Webster]
     Note: Nostoc commune is found on the ground, and is
           ordinarily not seen; but after a rain it swells up into
           a conspicuous jellylike mass, which was formerly
           supposed to have fallen from the sky, whence the
           popular names, fallen star and star jelly. Also
           called witches' butter.
           [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Witch \Witch\, n. [OE. wicche, AS. wicce, fem., wicca, masc.;
     perhaps the same word as AS. w[imac]tiga, w[imac]tga, a
     soothsayer (cf. Wiseacre); cf. Fries. wikke, a witch, LG.
     wikken to predict, Icel. vitki a wizard, vitka to bewitch.]
     [1913 Webster]
     1. One who practices the black art, or magic; one regarded as
        possessing supernatural or magical power by compact with
        an evil spirit, esp. with the Devil; a sorcerer or
        sorceress; -- now applied chiefly or only to women, but
        formerly used of men as well.
        [1913 Webster]
              There was a man in that city whose name was Simon, a
              witch.                                --Wyclif (Acts
                                                    viii. 9).
        [1913 Webster]
              He can not abide the old woman of Brentford; he
              swears she's a witch.                 --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. An ugly old woman; a hag. --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. One who exercises more than common power of attraction; a
        charming or bewitching person; also, one given to
        mischief; -- said especially of a woman or child.
        [1913 Webster]
     4. (Geom.) A certain curve of the third order, described by
        Maria Agnesi under the name versiera.
        [1913 Webster]
     5. (Zool.) The stormy petrel.
        [1913 Webster]
     6. A Wiccan; an adherent or practitioner of Wicca, a
        religion which in different forms may be paganistic and
        nature-oriented, or ditheistic. The term witch applies to
        both male and female adherents in this sense.
     Witch balls, a name applied to the interwoven rolling
        masses of the stems of herbs, which are driven by the
        winds over the steppes of Tartary. Cf. Tumbleweed.
        --Maunder (Treas. of Bot.)
     Witches' besoms (Bot.), tufted and distorted branches of
        the silver fir, caused by the attack of some fungus.
        --Maunder (Treas. of Bot.)
     Witches' butter (Bot.), a name of several gelatinous
        cryptogamous plants, as Nostoc commune, and Exidia
        glandulosa. See Nostoc.
     Witch+grass+(Bot.),+a+kind+of+grass+({Panicum+capillare">Witch grass (Bot.), a kind of grass ({Panicum capillare)
        with minute spikelets on long, slender pedicels forming a
        light, open panicle.
     Witch meal (Bot.), vegetable sulphur. See under
        [1913 Webster]

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