planchette

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n planchette a triangular board supported on casters; when lightly touched with the fingertips it is supposed to spell out supernatural (or unconscious) messages
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Planchette A circumferentor. See Circumferentor.
    • Planchette A small tablet of wood supported on casters and having a pencil attached. The characters produced by the pencil on paper, while the hand rests on the instrument and it is allowed to move, are sometimes translated as of oracular or supernatural import.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n planchette A small heart-shaped or triangular board mounted on three supports, of which two, placed at the angles of the base, are easily moving casters, and the third, placed at the apex, is a pencil-point. If the tips of the fingers of one person, or of two, are placed lightly upon it, the board will often, after a time, move without conscious effort on the part of the operator, and the pencilpoint will, it is said, trace lines, words, and even sentences. It was invented about 1855, and was for a time an object of not a little superstition.
    • n planchette A circumferentor.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Planchette plan-shet′ a small heart-shaped or triangular piece of board resting on three props, two of which are castors and one a pencil-point, which, while a person's fingers are lightly resting on it, sometimes moves, as if of its own accord, and traces with the pencil marks and even words upon a piece of paper below it.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. See Planchet
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. planchette, a small board.

Usage

In literature:

About the table, examining the Planchette contrivance, were four persons.
"Moon-Face and Other Stories" by Jack London
Valentin was left alone with Planchette in the empty workshop.
"The Magic Skin" by Honore de Balzac
This planchette business had a somewhat curious ending.
"When the World Shook" by H. Rider Haggard
The boy stared drowsily at the planchette, jerking this way and that, and making abrupt starts and stops.
"The Landlord at Lion's Head, Complete" by William Dean Howells
He had dined, doubtless, with M. Planchette, one of his friends of the Academy.
"A Street Of Paris And Its Inhabitant" by Honore De Balzac
To-morrow I will have it examined by Planchette, and put an end to this mad fancy.
"The World's Greatest Books, Vol. I" by Various
In 1700 a cure, near Toulouse, used the wand to answer questions, which, like planchette, it often answered wrong.
"Custom and Myth" by Andrew Lang
While he was away she'd been all through psychometry, the planchette, clairvoyance, palmistry, astrology, and Unitarianism.
"The Seeker" by Harry Leon Wilson
The failure of science in this effort was a cause of amazement to Planchette and Japhet.
"Repertory Of The Comedie Humaine, Complete, A -- Z" by Anatole Cerfberr and Jules François Christophe
A planchette can be manipulated.
"The Mercenaries" by Henry Beam Piper
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