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magical formula or incantationincantation,
set formula, spoken or sung, for the purpose of working magic. An incantation is normally an invocation to beneficent supernatural spirits for aid, protection, or inspiration. It may also serve as a charm or spell to ward off the effects of evil spirits.
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, spoken or sung, for the purpose of securing blessing, good fortune, or immunity from evil. It presupposes a belief in demons or malignant spirits. The formula was frequently inscribed upon an amuletamulet
, object or formula that credulity and superstition have endowed with the power of warding off harmful influences. The use of the amulet to avert danger and to dispel evil has been known in different religions and among diverse peoples.
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, talisman, or trinket to be worn for protection.


A term used to describe a class of elementary particles. Ordinary atoms of matter consist of a nucleus composed of neutrons and protons and surrounded by electrons. Over the years, however, a host of other particles with unexpected properties have been found, associated with both electrons (leptons) and protons (hadrons). The hadrons number in the hundreds, and can be explained as composites of more fundamental constituents, called quarks. The originally simple situation of having an up quark (u) and a down quark (d) has evolved as several more varieties or flavors have had to be added. These are the strange quark (s) with the additional property or quantum number of strangeness to account for the unexpected characteristics of a family of strange particles; the charm quark (c) possessing charm and no strangeness, to explain the discovery of the J/ψ particles, massive states three times heavier than the proton; and a fifth quark (b) to explain the existence of the even more massive upsilon (γ) particles. See Hadron, Quarks

The members of the family of particles associated with charm fall into two classes: those with hidden charm, where the states are a combination of charm and anticharm quarks (cc), charmonium; and those where the charm property is clearly evident, such as the D+ (cd) meson and &Lgr;c+ (cud) baryon. Although reasonable progress has been made in the study of charmed states, much work remains to be done. See Elementary particle


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

A talisman or an amulet may be referred to as a charm, as may a Christian rosary or agnes dei. A three-leaf clover is regarded as a lucky charm, as is a rabbit's foot. Charms are objects, but they are also words used in spells, chants and incantations.

In the past, and even today, people will repeat a word, phrase, or verse that they have been told will work as a charm for health, wealth, protection, love or power. They might be spoken in English, Latin or some form of pseudo-magical gibberish, either meaningless or whose meaning has long since been lost.

The Church has had an ambivalent attitude toward charms. In medieval times holy relics and rosaries were blessed and encouraged. Prayers were also recommended. Yet in the seventeenth century, in Scotland, the use of a charm could lead to burning at the stake. Many charms invoked the names of saints, yet the Church warned that only prayers in their standard Catholic form were permissible.

In South America, no one can claim to be a shaman unless they have knowledge of a great many charms. All magical rites are assigned charms which are believed to have great power. The shamans use charms to combat disease, overcome evil, destroy enemies and summon spirits. Although ordinary people may also know charms, those of the shamans are thought to be especially effective.

Similarly, many believe that the charms of Witches are far more effective than any traditional, well-known charms. For example, there are probably hundreds of charms for getting rid of warts. Many of them seem to work. Yet people will place more faith in a charm spoken by a Witch than the very same charm spoken by themselves.



an incantation, in the creative oral tradition of various peoples, a formula of words that, according to superstition, has magical power. In ancient times charms were associated with magical occurrences; later the incantations themselves acquired magical significance. Hunters, fishermen, shepherds, farmers, and tradesmen had their own charms. There were also charms that placed spells on iniquitous judges. Many charms are used as protection from illness. There are numerous love charms that are believed to make people fall in and out of love. Charms reflect various aspects of the economic, social, and spiritual life of the peoples of the world. The artistic poetic quality and rich language of charms establish them as a form of verbal folk art.


Maikov, L. Velikorusskie zaklinaniia. St. Petersburg, 1869.
Eleonskaia, E. K izucheniiu zagovora i koldovstvci v Rossii. [Moscow] 1917.
Poznanskii, N. Zagovory. Petrograd, 1917.


(particle physics)
A quantum number which has been proposed to account for an apparent lack of symmetry in the behavior of hadrons relative to that of leptons, to explain why certain reactions of elementary particles do not occur, and to account for the longevity of the J-1 and J-2 particles.


Physics an internal quantum number of certain elementary particles, used to explain some scattering experiments


An explicitly parallel programming language based on C, for both shared and nonshared MIMD computers.

Mailing list: <>.

["The CHARM(3.2) Programming Language Manual", UIUC, Dec 1992].
References in periodicals archive ?
The only time it lets up is when the critics' lords and masters have to approach the charmless, rude, cocky, and humorless ugly Americans (and beg them) to bail them out against a period of national poverty or enemies bent on their destruction.
Charmless child star Chloe Moretz plays a Nebraska teen who sets her sights on Las Vegas' bright lights.
But no, not only was he bigoted but sweatily charmless and a bit dim to boot.
Is the farmer just being his usual charmless self, or is his increasingly erratic behaviour a sign of a more serious problem?
It's such a shame to see such a likeable twosome (Pegg and Dunst) wasted in such a charmless film.
Well, you'll find a refreshing alternative in these recipes from the time of Churchill and charmless chomp.
WHILE endorsing the comments of Mr Horgan (Daily Post, June 13) on the charmless interior of the Bluecoat building (white walls, dropped ceilings, spotlights - to match the new shops, perhaps), may I take issue with his last sentence: "at least nobody has modernised the Walker yet").
Cherie Blair never curtsied to anyone, but that is because Cherie Blair is charmless and has no manners" - Lady Colin Campbell, author of Guide To Being A Modern Lady.
The stress levels endured during a twohour flight with that charmless lot would make it a fairer deal if they paid you.
8 conductor Mark Elder paid deference to these requirements, but for all its nicely proportioned playing, period sound and orchestral layout (violins on either side, woodwind sandwiched centrally between lower strings, trumpets and horns the outer wings) it was an unconvincing, charmless reading.
While historically people grew tired of the City, and went east--first to the soulless, charmless Canary Wharf, and then further afield, 'Bangalore, even Shanghai'--now the City is being revived.
Quite why she should choose to be so gracious about this dreary, colourless and charmless memorial that has cost an inordinate sum of money is a mystery to me.