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A man who has magical powers, especially in legends and fairy tales. Recorded from late Middle English, the word originally meant ‘philosopher, sage’, and comes from wise; the sense of a person skilled in the occult arts dates from the mid 16th century.

In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) by L. Frank Baum, the orphaned Dorothy, who has been carried by a cyclone to the land of Oz, joins the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Man in their search for the magician (the Wizard of Oz) who can give them their heart's desire, although the wizard's power is in the end illusory.

Subjects: Literature.

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