Volume 3: 1771 Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica!
Witchcraft, a kind of sorcery, especially in women, in which it is ridiculously supposed that an old woman, by entering into a contract with the devil, is enabled, in many instances, to change the course of nature; to raise winds; perform actions that require more than human strength; and to afflict those who offend them with the sharpest pains, etc. In the times of ignorance and superstition, many severe laws were made against witches, by which great numbers of innocent persons, distressed with poverty and age, were brought to a violent death; but these are now happily repealed. See Law. Tit. xxxiii 8.