Entry: apotropaic (adj.)
In context: "'I suddenly understand the gesundheit-impulse, the salt over the shoulder and apotropaic barn-signs."
Definition: Having or reputed to have the power of averting evil influence or ill luck.
Etymology: < Greek ἀποτρόπαιος averting evil ( < ἀποτρέπειν to turn away, avert) + -ic suffix
1904 W. M. Ramsay in Hastings Dict. Bible V. 115/1 The‥employment of a bull's head on‥sarcophagi‥evidently‥had at first an apotropaic purpose.
SNOOT score: 3
Source: Oxford English Dictionary