In English there is:

  • wizard = a guy in a fairy tale who can change a human into an animal
  • magician = real person who performs magic tricks

What are their translations into Italian?

I have found two words: "mago m, stregone m".

Hypothesis: wizard = stregone, magician = mago.

Am I right?

Thank you.

  • A magician is a “person with magical powers” too, not just a conjuror.
    – DaG
    Dec 13, 2016 at 16:18

2 Answers 2


You are mainly right; but in Italian "mago" is quite generic and could be applied to both cases. You could translate magician = prestigiatore, while keeping wizard = mago.

  • 1
    “Magician” (in the sense of “congiuror”) can also be translated as illusionista.
    – DaG
    Dec 13, 2016 at 16:19
  • 2
    yes, "conjurer" = "illusionista", "prestigiatore"; while (IMO) the correct translation of "stregone" would be "sorcerer" Dec 13, 2016 at 16:39

English has a lot of terms for "magical user", some traditional and some introduced by fantasy literature and games:

  • wizard
  • sorcerer
  • warlock
  • magician
  • illusionist
  • conjurer
  • summoner
  • medium
  • clairvoyant

and more.

In Italian there are less options. These are the ones that I can think of, with the appropriate pairing with English when there is one:

  • mago (wizard): generic term for magic user, it applies also to the "classic" idea of magic user (Merlin was a mago).

  • stregone (wizard / sorcerer): male version of strega (witch). It has a slightly more esoterical meaning than wizard (stregoni are usually "darker" and more mysterious than maghi).

  • prestigiatore / illusionista (magician / illusionist): not a magic user, but rather one that does tricks (like at a fair). The former is more specialized in sleight of hand tricks, the latter is more about creating misperceptions.

  • evocatore / invocatore (summoner + conjurer): someone who can use magic to materialize creatures or objects. There is no strict distinction as in English between the two cases.

  • medium (medium): someone who can perceive / communicate with spirits (not necessarily of the dead).

  • veggente (clairvoyant): Someone who can see across time (future) or space (afar). It does not includes prophecies: profeta (prophet) is more appropriate in that case.

Two more things worth mentioning: there is no direct translation for "warlock" when used in the meaning of someone who uses magic specialized in combat (fantasy meaning).

There is one specific Italian term, iettatore, who is someone who has the power to curse people with the malocchio, which will bring misfortune.

  • 1
    Considerando che ne hai elencati 9 in inglese e 8 in italiano, non mi sembra che l'italiano stia messo tanto male, pure non considerando incantatore, taumaturgo, negromante, fattucchiere, sciamano, maliardo... (mi sono aiutato in parte con treccani.it/vocabolario/mago_(Sinonimi-e-Contrari)).
    – DaG
    Dec 19, 2016 at 11:38
  • Fair point, anche se quelli che hai citato (maliardo a parte?) hanno cmq tutti una controparte in inglese. Magari e' solo una mia impressione che ci sia meno tassonomia in italiano :) Dec 19, 2016 at 13:31
  • Aggiungerei warlock alle parole tradotte con stregone
    – Zachiel
    Apr 2, 2017 at 1:02

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