Wiktionary claims it is "magics", from how I read its page, but e.g. Ask.com claims it has no plural form. Considering that Wiktionary also claims that it is "usually uncountable", are there only certain situations it has a plural form in?

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    Some people say "magicks" with a "k" (which is supposed to differentiate between stage magic and "real" magic).
    – nnnnnn
    May 29, 2016 at 1:16
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    @nnnnnn: Most of those people seem to be either fantasy authors who are too cool to spell anything the same way as anyone else, or people who claim to be able to use various magicks themselves. May 29, 2016 at 1:21
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    @NathanTuggy - Yes I know. I was trying not to let my opinion of those people show through too much, but...well...my opinion of them is low. I enjoy fantasy novels, but I dislike when authors use non-standard spellings for standard concepts. Still, "magicks" with a "k" is common in certain circles.
    – nnnnnn
    May 29, 2016 at 1:24
  • The Wiktionary link is irrelevant since no actual usage examples are given.
    – user3169
    May 29, 2016 at 1:41
  • Some words, like "water" have both unquantifiable forms (e.g. "that's a lot of water") and quantifiable forms (e.g. "there are many waters").
    – intcreator
    May 29, 2016 at 6:44

4 Answers 4


If you're referring to the idea in general, it's not countable. There's nothing to count. "Someone who practices magic", "friendship is magic", or "magic powers this device" would all fit this pattern.

However, if you're referring to some specific kind, it's countable. So "the magics of necromancy and enchantment" is legitimate: it's referring to two different but related things. (Similarly, "the peoples of England and Scotland" refers to each separate group of people, and "the monies allocated were spent primarily in two ways" does the same thing for "money".) This is not a very common usage, though, since for most purposes there's really no reason to make a distinction between different kinds of something that's imaginary anyway.

Or here's another example:

Ain's machine was built under the Black Spike surrounded by deep water, a work of genius tainted by madness. They had called it the Sixth Magic. No matter its power; it was flawed and unclean from the beginning. Mael's last accomplishment was supposed to elevate the magics above the stain of Ain's madness.

(Source: The Seventh Magic)

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    Do you have a reference for using "magics"? I would still use magic since each of them could be mass nouns.
    – user3169
    May 29, 2016 at 1:39
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    @user3169 Consider if there are two different stories that each have completely different magics with different internal logic, different capabilities, different ways they're acquired, and so on. Unless there's a single word that describes the ways they differ, you have no choice but to use a plural. You can't say "different types of magic" because they don't differ only in the type of magic they are, they differ in other ways too. May 29, 2016 at 21:03
  • @DavidSchwartz: Good point. I suspect (without having read much of the book) that my last example is such a case. May 29, 2016 at 21:06

Alan and Nathan have both answered this, I'm only adding some references

Magic is, indeed, an uncountable noun.

However, an instance of magic is singular and so has often been made plural with the addition of an S.

Kipling writing in Strand Magazine in 1906

What's that for—magic?’ said Una... ‘One of my little magics,’ he answered. - sourced from the OED

Another example from the OED

...you keep bumping into these small magics — things people would like to believe, just as we'd all rather like to believe in haunted houses and water witching

As for the other conversation about magick or magik- it pre-dates the now standard spelling

Chaucer, back around the turn of the 14th century

Clerkes eke, which konne wel Al this magik naturel..thrugh which magik To make a man ben hool or syk.

Shakespeare himself was a bit of a fan of Magick (all from 1st folio spellings c1623)

Magick Verses haue contriu'd his end. - Henry VI part 1

There's Magick in thy Maiestie - Winter's tale

And plucke my Magick garment from me - The Tempest

And, an example in the plural...

Bring your Magicks, Spels, and Charmes, To enflesh my thighs, and armes. From Robert Herrick's Hesperedes


The plural form of magic is magics.

Magic is usually used as a mass or non-count or uncountable (pick a term) noun, so it will usually be used in the singular.

Sometimes words we think are only used as a mass noun, such as money and imagination can be used as count nouns, so it cannot be said that you'll never see magics.

Magical arts is a close equivalent.


In most common usage "magic" is an uncountable noun. Using the word "magics" generally implies a context of a specific religious/fictional belief-structure that has internally-defined concepts of different kinds of magic

For example: As an outsider witnessing a group preforming four magic-rituals I would probably refer to the four rituals collectively as "magic". A member of the group might refer to the first three rituals as "spirit magic", but they may refer the four rituals as "magics" if they believed the fourth ritual to be a distinct class of "earth magic". The next day I might say "They showed by their magics", but using the word "magics" implies that they told me they were "magics", and that I am speaking from the internal viewpoint of their belief system, although it does not imply that I share their belief. I am merely speaking in a specific context of their beliefs.

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