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Spells in Harry Potter occur in the wizarding world of the series of books by author J. K. Rowling. Magic spells are used by many of the characters to achieve useful effects without the benefit of modern technology. The main depiction of a "spell" in the Harry Potter books consists of a gesture made with the character's wand, combined with a spoken or mental incantation. In the books and their associated film series, the names of the majority of these spells or the incantations used to effect them are derived from the Classical languages, particularly Latin. These names are not grammatically correct in any language; most spoken phrases resemble Latin words of appropriate meaning but are not proper Latin themselves.

In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the concept of casting spells nonverbally is introduced. Earlier, every spell cast by the principal characters had been accompanied by the appropriate voiced incantation, although advanced adult practitioners of magic had cast nonverbal spells in previous books. Consequently, the incantations used for some spells introduced in Half-Blood Prince and its sequel Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows are unavailable.

Spells are listed here by their incantations (when known), with their vernacular names in parenthesis. Some spells have no known incantation – the only reference in the text is by an informal name, either because in its only appearance in the relevant book it was cast nonverbally, or because it was never depicted in the books, only mentioned. The majority of spells cast in duels between adult characters in all seven books appear nonverbally; only their effects can identify such spells.


Accio (Summoning Charm)

Pronunciation: Various suggestions have been made, including:
: – film and video game
: – U.K. audio book
: – U.S. audio book

Description: This charm summons an object to the caster, potentially over a significant distance.
Seen/mentioned: First mentioned in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, when it was briefly used by Molly Weasley on the Weasley twins to confiscate their Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes' products from their pockets, before they left for the Quidditch World Cup. Hermione was also mentioned trying to learn this charm during her ride aboard the Hogwarts Express. Later on in the same book, Harry summons his broom to complete the First Task of the Triwizard Tournament. Near the end of the book, Harry summons a Portkey he cannot reach to escape from the Battle in the Graveyard. In "Order of the Phoenix", Bellatrix Lestrange attempts to summon the prophecy from Harry. Also seen in Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows to try to summon Horcruxes, and Harry tries to summon a falling Rubeus Hagrid. One of the Death Eaters tried to snatch Harry's Invisibility Cloak using this charm, but did not work.
Suggested etymology: The Latin word accio means "I call" or "I summon". In the Hungarian translation, the spell is called "Invito", possibly from the word "to invite or invitation".

Aguamenti (Aguamenti Charm)

Description: Produces a jet of water from the caster's wand.
Seen/mentioned: First seen in "Goblet of Fire", when Fleur put the fire out on her skirt "with a bit of water from her wand." First named in Half-Blood Prince, when Harry is being taught how to perform this specific charm in Professor Flitwick's class. Later Harry casts this spell in an attempt to create water for Dumbledore to drink after taking Voldemort's potion and then to douse Hagrid's hut after it is set on fire later. Then in Deathly Hallows, Hermione Granger uses it to put out Mundungus' searing eyebrows after Harry accidentally set them on fire. Later on, Harry uses it in a failed attempt to douse Vincent Crabbe's Fiendfyre curse in the Room of Requirement.
Suggested etymology: The Latin word aqua (water) combined with augmentum (compare with English augment), an increase, from augere, to increase; see aug- in Indo-European roots, meaning: “increasing the water (flow)”, this combination explains the QU/GU alteration in aqua-agua- (see agua e. g. in Portuguese and Spanish). -menti is the genitive form of the suffix -mentum


Description: Used to open and/or unlock doors, but doors may be bewitched so that this spell has no effect.
Seen/mentioned: Used throughout the series, first use by Hermione in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Loses use gradually in the series as the characters discover more and more doors, chests etc. with counter-charms on them (e.g. The doors into Professor Snape's and Professor Umbridge's offices are mentioned as being Alohomora-proof.)
Etymology: From the West African Sidiki dialect used in geomancy meaning: Friendly to thieves as stated by J.K. Rowling in testimony during the WB and JKR vs. RDR Books


Description: Clears the target's airway, if blocked.
Seen/mentioned: Shown in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Horace Slughorn casts this spell on Marcus Belby when the latter begins to choke.
Suggested etymology: The Greek word anapneo which means "to draw breath or to revive".

(Anti-Cheating Spell)

Description: Cast on parchment or quills to prevent the writer from cheating whilst writing answers.
Seen/mentioned: Mentioned in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix as being cast on quills and exam papers for exams at Hogwarts.

(Anti-Disapparition Jinx)

Description: Used to prevent Disapparition and/or Apparition in an area for a period. Presumably can be used to prevent an enemy from entering a defended area, or used to trap an enemy in an area.
Seen/mentioned: Mentioned in Order of the Phoenix, used by Dumbledore to trap several Death Eaters in the Department of Mysteries. Also cast long ago on Hogwarts, the reason why, as Hermione quotes innumerable times throughout the series, "no one can Apparate or Disapparate inside the Hogwarts grounds." In Deathly Hallows, it prevented the trio from escaping Hogsmeade when the same spell was placed around the area by Death Eaters.

(Antonin Dolohov's Curse)

Description: This curse causes serious internal injury, but shows no external symptoms. It is described as cast with "a slashing motion", sending out a streak of purple flames. It is not nonverbal, though Harry could not hear it because Hermione had used the silencing charm Silencio on Dolohov before.
Seen/mentioned: Seen only in Order of the Phoenix, this spell is cast three times by Antonin Dolohov during the battle between the Death Eaters and members of Dumbledore's Army at the Ministry of Magic.


Description: This spell makes invisible ink appear.
Seen/mentioned: First seen in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, when Hermione tries to make hidden writing appear in Tom Marvolo Riddle's diary.
Notes: See also Specialis Revelio.
Suggested etymology: The Latin word appareo which means "to become visible or to appear".

Avada Kedavra (Killing Curse)

Description: Causes a jet of green light, and a rushing noise; the curse causes instant death to the victim. It leaves no mark of death. There is no known counter-curse or blocking spell (with the exception of the curse striking another Avada Kedavra spell mid-flight, negating both), although the caster can be interrupted, the victim can dodge the curse, hide behind solid objects (which burst into flame when hit by it), or, if the casting wizard is not sufficiently competent, the curse may be completely ineffective as described by Barty Crouch Jr (acting as Alastor Moody) in Goblet of Fire. It is one of the three Unforgivable Curses; the use of this spell on another human being can earn the caster a life sentence in Azkaban.

Survivors: Only two people in the history of the magical world are known to have survived the killing curse – Harry Potter and Voldemort who was only saved by his horcrux. Harry was hit twice directly. Phoenixes can also survive a killing curse. They burst into flame, as they would do in old age and are reborn from the ashes. This occurred in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Seen/mentioned: First said (not by name) at the beginning of the first book when Harry arrives at the Dursley's home. First seen in Goblet of Fire against Muggle Frank Bryce, and in every book following.
Suggested etymology: During an audience interview at the Edinburgh Book Festival (15 April 2004) Rowling said: "Does anyone know where avada kedavra came from? It is an ancient spell in Aramaic, and it is the original of abracadabra, which means 'let the thing be destroyed.' Originally, it was used to cure illness and the 'thing' was the illness, but I decided to make it the 'thing' as in the person standing in front of me. I take a lot of liberties with things like that. I twist them round and make them mine."


Description: This charm creates a flock of birds that pour forth from the caster's wand. When coupled with Oppugno, it can be used offensively.
Seen/mentioned: Shown in Goblet of Fire, cast by Mr Ollivander to test Viktor Krum's wand. In Half-blood Prince, it is cast by Hermione, followed by Oppugno which causes the birds to attack Ron.
Suggested etymology: Correct Latin word avis, meaning "bird".


(Babbling Curse)

Description: The Babbling Curse is not fully understood but it is presumed to cause a person to babble whenever they try to speak.
Seen/mentioned: According to Gilderoy Lockhart, he once cured a Transylvanian villager of this affliction, but later on he admitted to destroying the memories of who did cure the villager, and the memories of others, and claiming their deeds as his own.

(Banishing Charm)

Description: Opposite to "Accio".
Seen/mentioned: Seen in Goblet of Fire, cast by Hermione who perfectly banishes a cushion into a box which is their target in their Charms class. To Harry's great surprise, he also perfectly banishes a cushion during this lesson.

(Bat-Bogey Hex)

Description: Grotesquely enlarges the target's bogeys, gives them wings, and sets them attacking the target.
Seen/mentioned: Ginny Weasley is depicted as an accomplished caster of this particular spell. She is shown to use it in Order of the Phoenix on Draco Malfoy, and in Half-Blood Prince on Zacharias Smith.

(Bedazzling Hex)

Description: Similar to a Disillusionment Charm, it can be used to conceal a person or an object. Is also used to make invisibility cloaks.
Seen/mentioned: Mentioned in Deathly Hallows by Xenophilius Lovegood when speaking of the different methods by which Invisibility Cloaks may be created.

(Bubble-Head Charm)

Description: Puts a large bubble of air around the head of the user. Used as a magical equivalent of a breathing set.
Seen/mentioned: in Goblet of Fire, Cedric Diggory and Fleur Delacour use this charm underwater in the second task of the Triwizard Tournament. In Order of the Phoenix, it is described as used by many Hogwarts students when walking through the hallways, because of the bad smells caused by the various pranks played on Dolores Umbridge.


(Caterwauling Charm)

Description: Anyone entering the perimeter of a Caterwauling Charm sets off a high-pitched shriek.
Seen/mentioned: Mentioned in Deathly Hallows, cast by Death Eaters over Hogsmeade to protect against intruders.
Note: Similar to an intruder charm: they both produce an alarm if the vicinity is disturbed.

Cave Inimicum

Description: Spell used to strengthen an enclosure from enemies.
Seen/mentioned: Shown only in Deathly Hallows, cast by Hermione and Harry Potter to strengthen their campsites' defences.
Etymology: Correct Classical Latin for "Beware the enemy", from the verb caveo (to beware) and the accusative form of the noun inimicus (enemy).

(Cheering Charm)

Description: Causes the person upon whom the spell was cast to become happy and contented, though heavy-handedness with the spell may cause the person to break into an uncontrollable laughing fit. Felix Summerbee created the spell.
Seen/mentioned: First seen in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.


Description: Magically locks a door, preventing it from being opened by Muggle means.
Seen/mentioned: First in Order of the Phoenix, cast by Hermione in the Department of Mysteries.
Notes: This spell functions as the counter spell to Alohomora
Suggested etymology: Deformation of the Greek word kollao, which means "to join closely together, bind closely", and the Latin word porta meaning "a gate".

(Colour-Change Charm)

Description: Changes an object's colour.
Seen/mentioned: Attempted by Ron on initial trip to Hogwarts; Mentioned in Harry's Ordinary Wizarding Levels in Order of the Phoenix. , also used by Harry on Ron's Chudley Cannon's poster when the Trace was lifted.

Confringo (Blasting Curse)

Description: Causes anything that the spell meets to explode in flames.
Seen/mentioned: Seen only in Deathly Hallows. In the opening chapters, it is cast by Harry to destroy the sidecar of the flying motorbike. Later, it is used by Hermione in an attempt to kill Nagini and facilitate an escape from Bathilda Bagshot's house in Godric's Hollow.
Suggested etymology: The Latin confringo, which means "to break in pieces, to bring to naught".

Confundo (Confundus Charm)

Description: Causes the victim to become confused, befuddled, overly forgetful and prone to follow simple orders without thinking about them.
Seen/mentioned: First mentioned in Prisoner of Azkaban, when Severus Snape suggests that Harry and Hermione had been Confunded to believe Sirius Black's claim to innocence. In Goblet of Fire, it is suggested that a powerful Confundus Charm is responsible for the Goblet choosing a fourth Triwizard contestant. It is first seen in action when Hermione uses it on Cormac McLaggen during Quidditch tryouts in Half-Blood Prince. Its vernacular name is first revealed when Harry uses it on security guards during the Gringotts break-in in Deathly Hallows.
Suggested etymology: The Latin word confundo, which means "to confuse, throw into disorder".

(Conjunctivitus Curse)

Description: A curse that causes great pain to the victim's eyes.
Seen/mentioned: It is suggested by Sirius in Goblet of Fire as a means for defeating a dragon for the first task of the Triwizard Tournament, and used by Krum for this purpose. Mentioned in Order of the Phoenix as cast by Madame Maxime against giants.
Suggested etymology: From Conjunctivitis, which is an inflammation of the Conjunctiva, or outer surface of the eye, commonly caused by bacterial infection.

Crucio (Cruciatus Curse)

Description: Inflicts unbearable pain on the recipient of the curse. The effects of the curse depend upon the desires and emotions of the character – to produce the "excruciating" pain implied by the name, one must (according to Bellatrix Lestrange) desire to cause pain purely for its own sake or for fulfilment. The extreme pain inflicted by the curse when cast so – without any apparent evidence of physical harm – makes it uniquely suited as a form of torture. This pain has included the sensations of flaming bones and a head that was split open by crude methods without sedation. One of the three Unforgivable Curses.
Seen/mentioned: first seen in Goblet of Fire introduced by Barty Crouch Jr (acting as Moody) and used on a spider. Used regularly by the Death Eaters as torture, and by Voldemort as punishment, even against his servants. Used twice by Harry on Death Eaters, in Order of the Phoenix and Deathly Hallows.
Suggested etymology: Crucio (Latin) means "I torture", originating from crux (genitive crucis), which means "torture platform or stake", or more specifically, "cross". The word excruciating is descended from the same root - crucifixion was a form of torturous execution. In the novels, the verbal form of the word is 'cruciate', as when Amycus Carrow says in the final book "I'll Cruciate the lot of 'em." The caster has to believe the spell will work, as Harry realises in Deathly Hallows using it against Amycus, when the latter disrespects Professor McGonagall in the Ravenclaw common room.


Defodio (Gouging Spell)

Description: Can carve or dig out materials, such as stone and steel.
Seen/mentioned: Cast by Harry, Ron and Hermione in Deathly Hallows to help dig their way out of the Gringotts Tunnels.
Suggested etymology: Correct classical Latin verb defodio, meaning "to dig, dig out."


Description: Removes evidence of previous spells cast by the wand, revealed by Priori Incantatem.
Seen/mentioned: Seen only in Goblet of Fire when Amos Diggory gets rid of the echo of the Dark Mark from Harry's wand.
Suggested etymology: Latin verb delere meaning to destroy, from which the English word delete comes, meaning to remove.


Description: Causes the teeth of the recipient to grow at an alarming rate.
Seen/mentioned: Seen only in Goblet of Fire, cast by Draco on Harry, which is then deflected onto Hermione.
Suggested etymology: Latin dens, meaning "tooth", and augeo, meaning "to enlarge".


Description: A very powerful wind that can loosen and/or soften a variety of things; it can also be used to detach objects.
Seen/mentioned: Introduced in Deathly Hallows when Hermione casts this to blast a hole in the Lovegood's living room floor.
Suggested etymology: Latin deprimo which means to "dig deep".


Description: To make things sink, or go down.
Seen/mentioned: Seen twice in Deathly Hallows, it is cast by Ron to magically cause the stairs in his room to descend, and later by Crabbe in the Room of Requirement to lower the wall behind which Ron is hiding.
Suggested etymology: Correct classical Latin descendo, meaning "to come down, to descend".

Diffindo (Severing Charm)

Seen/mentioned: In Goblet of Fire when Ron wants to get rid of the lace on his dress robes. In Goblet of Fire when Harry urgently wants to talk to Cedric he casts this spell to rip his bag, delaying him for class, also in Order Of The Phoenix, Harry tries to cut the ropes wrapped around him but the spell fails, and in Half-Blood Prince to switch covers of his potion books. Also shown several times in Deathly Hallows, for cutting ropes, chains, etc.
Suggested etymology: Latin diffindo, "I divide."

(Disillusionment Charm)

Description: Causes the recipient to become invisible, or close to it.
Seen/mentioned: First in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, when Dumbledore tells Harry that he does not need a cloak to become invisible. In Order of the Phoenix, Moody casts this charm on Harry. Mentioned in Half-Blood Prince on a purple leaflet from the Ministry of Magic. Xenophilius Lovegood mentions, in Deathly Hallows, that Invisibility Cloaks are sometimes created by casting a Disillusionment Charm on a regular cloak. Also in Deathly Hallows, Draco Malfoy, Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle use the charm to hide outside the Room of Requirement.
Notes: The described sensation of a Disillusionment Charm is a feeling "something cold and wet trickling down your back." When the charm is lifted, the subject feels something hot trickling down their back.


Description: Causes the statue of the humpbacked witch hiding the secret passage to Honeydukes, as well as other hidden passageways, to open.
Seen/mentioned: Seen only in Prisoner of Azkaban.
Suggested etymology: Latin discedo meaning "I swerve".


Description: Makes the object hard.
Seen/mentioned: Seen in Deathly Hallows, cast by Hermione while escaping from Death Eaters in Hogwarts.
Suggested etymology: Latin duro meaning "I make hard".


Engorgio (Engorgement Charm)

Description: Causes objects to swell in size.
Seen/mentioned: A "Growth Charm" with the same effect is briefly mentioned. Hagrid is suspected of having performed the charm on his pumpkins in Chamber of Secrets. Next seen in the Goblet of Fire: Mentioned by Mr Weasley as a probable charm used on Ton-Tongue Toffees which engorged Dudley's tongue when the Weasleys fetched Harry for the Quidditch World Cup; when Barty Crouch Jr, impersonating Moody, casts it on a spider to enhance a demonstration of the effects of the Cruciatus Curse; and Ron suggested it might be the cause of Hagrid's abnormal size before learning that he is half-giant. Harry in Deathly Hallows also cast it on a spider.
Suggested etymology: English word engorge meaning "to fill to excess".

(Entrail-Expelling Curse)

Description: Presumably causes the entrails to be ejected from the body.
Seen/mentioned: First mentioned in Order of the Phoenix when Harry visits St Mungo's following Arthur Weasley's attack by Nagini while guarding the Department of Mysteries.
Suggested etymology: English word expel meaning "to drive or force out or away".
Notes: The spell is listed under a portrait of Urquhart Rackharrow, 1612-1697, who is known for being the spell's inventor.


Description: Used to heal relatively minor injuries. When this spell is cast, the person feels his/her injured body part go very hot and then very cold.
Seen/mentioned: Used in Goblet of Fire after the first task of the Triwizard Tournament. In Half-Blood Prince, Nymphadora Tonks uses this spell to fix Harry's broken nose; also used by Harry in the same book to fix Demelza Robins' mouth.
Suggested etymology: Greek episkeu meaning "repair, restoration".
Notes: Rowling writes in Half-Blood Prince that Harry's knowledge tells him this spell could belong to a family (or variety) of Healing Spells.


Description: Used to erect something.
Seen/mentioned: Possibly used in Goblet of Fire by wizards at the campsites near the Quidditch World Cup. Used by Hermione and Harry in Deathly Hallows.
Suggested etymology: Latin erectus meaning "upright, erect".

Evanesco (Vanishing Spell)

Description: Makes the target vanish.
Seen/mentioned: Used in Order of the Phoenix by Snape to make Harry's potions disappear from his cauldron. In addition, when Fred and George were showing off their puking pastilles, Lee Jordan cleared the bucket of vomit with the Evanesco spell. During their stay at #12, Grimmauld Place, Bill uses this on a stack of documents. This suggests that Vanished objects can be recovered.
Suggested etymology: Latin evanesco meaning "to vanish".
Notes: According to Minerva McGonagall, in Deathly Hallows, Vanished objects and organisms go "into non-being, which is to say, everything." This was McGonagall's response to the question, "Where do Vanished objects go?" from the doorknocker at Ravenclaw Tower.

Expecto Patronum (Patronus Charm)

Description: Conjures an incarnation of the caster's innermost positive feelings, such as joy, hope, or the desire to survive, known as a Patronus. A Patronus is conjured as a protector, and is a weapon rather than a predator of souls: Patronuses shield their conjurors from Dementors or Lethifolds, and can even drive them away. A Patronus "cannot feel despair, as real humans can, so Dementors can't hurt it." The conjured Patronus protects the witch or wizard that summoned it, obeys his or her commands, and fades away shortly after it is no longer required. When conjured, a Patronus appears silvery, ethereal, and semi-transparent. Improperly formed Patronuses range from momentary formless bursts of silvery mist, to poorly-defined forms that are easily defeated or quickly dissipate on their own. A full-fledged (or corporeal) Patronus takes on a fixed animal form that is often significant to the witch or wizard casting the charm. Patronuses summoned by a particular person have been known to change, although this has only been observed in the books in cases of unrequited love, such as Tonks' and Snape's respective Patronuses. In these cases, the new Patronus takes on the form of an animal associated with the love interest. Rowling has said in online interviews that Snape was the only Death Eater to be able to produce a Patronus. According to her this is 'because a Patronus is used against things that the Death Eaters generally generate, or fight alongside. They would not need Patronuses'. According to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the Charm is also the only known defensive spell against Lethifold.
Seen/mentioned: First seen in Prisoner of Azkaban when a Dementor appears in the Hogwarts Express, and Hermione says that Remus Lupin repelled the Dementor by casting a silvery object from his wand. Harry's corporeal Patronus first appears in a Quidditch game, and other characters throughout the rest of the series use it.
Notes: Dumbledore has devised a method of using Patronuses to deliver messages putting it into the exclusive use of the Order of the Phoenix. Members of the Order are the only wizards who know how to use their spirit guardians to send messages to one another. According to Rowling, the Patronus is "an immensely efficient messenger" as it is not hindered by physical obstructions or dark matters. Each Patronus has a special quality and appearance that is different and easy to recognise, which makes it clear which Order member has sent the message. In addition, since no one can conjure another person's Patronus, this method of communication does not carry the risk of passing fake messages. It is noteworthy that in Deathly Hallows, McGonagall creates three Patronuses simultaneously to call for Professors Flitwick, Sprout, and Slughorn.
Suggested etymology: Expecto Patronum is correct classical Latin for "I await a protector". It is related to "pater" (father) and Harry's Patronus indeed takes the same form as that of his father's animagus form (a stag).

Expelliarmus (Disarming Charm)

Description: Produces a jet of scarlet light. This spell is used to disarm another wizard, typically by causing the victim's wand to fly out of reach. It can also throw the target backwards when enough power is put into it. If it hits, or gets close, to another spell, if powerful enough, it will deflect the spell, causing it to hit its caster. As demonstrated in Prisoner of Azkaban, simultaneous use of this spell by multiple witches or wizards on a single person can throw the wizard back with much greater force.
Seen/mentioned: First seen in Chamber of Secrets, when Snape disarms Gilderoy Lockhart in the Duelling Club; from then on it is commonly used throughout the rest of the series. Draco uses it to disarm Dumbledore and Harry uses the spell to not only disarm Gregory Goyle in the Room of Requirement, but also to reflect Voldemort's killing curse during the final battle, killing Voldemort. He also used it to battle Death Eaters when they were chasing him on broom across London. It is seen by the Death Eaters as Harry's signature move, as he had used it to duel Voldemort in both Goblet of Fire and Deathly Hallows.
Suggested etymology: Latin expellere meaning "to expel, to thrust away" and Latin arma meaning "weapons of war".


Description: A spell that causes an object to explode. The force of the explosion may depend on the intent of the caster.
Seen/mentioned: Used by a Death Eater in an attempt to capture Harry in The Deathly Hallows, it struck the table that Harry was standing behind, causing an explosion that slammed him into a wall with great force.
Suggested etymology: Latin expulso meaning to "drive out, expel, force out, banish."



Description: Creates a bandage and a splint.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Lupin in Prisoner of Azkaban to bind Ron's broken leg.
Suggested etymology: Latin ferula meaning "a stick".

(Fidelius Charm)

Description: A charm involving secret information hidden within the soul of a Secret-Keeper. This information is irretrievable until the Secret-Keeper chooses to reveal it; those who have the secret revealed to them cannot reveal it to others.
Seen/mentioned: In Prisoner of Azkaban, it is explained that when Harry was an infant, he and his parents, James and Lily Potter, were hidden from Voldemort by this charm. Later, in Order of the Phoenix, the charm is used to hide the location of the headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix. Order members in Deathly Hallows also use it to protect their homes.
Suggested etymology: Latin fidelis meaning "loyalty".
Notes: Rowling previously stated that when a Secret-Keeper dies, the Secret they held can never be revealed to anyone else; the people who were told before the Secret-Keeper's death will still know the secret, but after the death of the Secret-Keeper no one new can be brought into the circle of knowledge. However, in Deathly Hallows, it is explained that upon the Keeper's death, all those who have been told the secret become Secret-Keepers in turn, and can pass the secret on to others.

(Fiendfyre Curse)

Description: Dangerous, uncontrollable and extremely powerful fire which can take the form of beasts such as serpents, Chimaeras and dragons.
Seen/mentioned: In the Deathly Hallows, Vincent Crabbe uses Fiendfyre in the Room of Requirement against Harry, Ron and Hermione who manage to escape on broomsticks with Draco and Goyle. Crabbe gets left behind and perishes in the Fiendfyre he created along with all the objects in the Room of Requirement including Rowena Ravenclaw's lost diadem; one of Voldemort's Horcruxes. Afterwards, Hermione explains, "Fiendfyre – cursed fire – it's one of the substances that destroy Horcruxes, but I would never, ever dare use it, it's so dangerous."
Suggested etymology: A 'fiend' is a diabolically cruel or wicked person, and 'fyre' means fire.
Notes: It is only used by Vincent Crabbe throughout in Deathly Hallows, who Harry believes "Must've learned from the Carrows." (Alecto Carrow and Amycus Carrow; two Death Eater siblings who taught at Hogwarts for a brief period under Snape's reign as Headmaster.) Therefore, Vincent Crabbe destroyed one of Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes.

Finite Incantatem

Description: Negates many spells or the effects of many spells.
Seen/mentioned: Snape uses it in Chamber of Secrets to restore order in the Duelling Club when Harry and Draco are duelling. Lupin uses the short form "Finite" in Order of the Phoenix. In Deathly Hallows, Hermione suggests to Ron to attempt to use this spell to stop it raining in Yaxley's office. Harry used Finite to counter Crabbe's Descendo attack on Ron in the same book.
Suggested etymology: Latin finio meaning "to put an end to" and Latin cantio meaning "enchantment".

(Flagrante Curse)

Description: Causes any object affected to burn human skin when touched.
Seen/mentioned: Seen in the Lestranges' vault in Deathly Hallows, as a criminal deterrent.
Suggested etymology: Latin flagrantia meaning "burning, blazing". Also, recall the Latin phrase in flagrante delicto: it is used to refer to a criminal's being caught red-handed, 'while the crime is blazing'. The way that the Flagrante Curse is used in Deathly Hallows makes a playful (and literal) use of the saying.


Description: With this spell, the caster's wand can leave fiery marks.
Seen/mentioned: Cast by Tom Riddle in The Chamber of Secrets to spell out 'Tom Marvolo Riddle' and switch it to 'I am Lord Voldemort' also cast by Hermione in Order of the Phoenix to identify doors of the Department of Mysteries which members of Dumbledore's Army had already opened, by marking them with an 'X'.
Suggested etymology: Latin flagro meaning "glowing".

(Flame-Freezing Charm)

Description: Causes fire to become harmless to those caught in it, creating only a gentle, tickling sensation instead of burns.
Seen/mentioned: Mentioned in the first chapter of Prisoner of Azkaban in the book History of Magic which Harry is reading to do his homework. Witches and wizards used this spell during medieval burnings. It is also said in A History of Magic that Wendelin the Weird enjoyed being "burned," so she would openly tell people that she was a witch just so she could be caught and burned; no less then forty-seven times in different names. Also seen in " The Chamber of Secrets" when the Weasleys and Harry travel to Diagon Alley using Floo powder.

(Flying Charm)

Description: Cast on broomsticks, and (presumably) magic carpets to make them fly.
Seen/mentioned: Draco mentioned this spell when tauntingly asking Ron why would anyone cast a Flying Charm on Ron's broomstick in Order of the Phoenix during Ron's first Quidditch practice. It is also mentioned in Quidditch Through the Ages.

(Freezing Charm)

Description: Renders target immobile.
Seen/mentioned: According to Horace Slughorn, a Freezing Charm will disable a Muggle burglar alarm (Intruder alarm). It strikes resemblances to the Flame-Freezing Charm, which negates the effects of fire. Hermione Granger used the Freezing Charm on two pixies after Gilderoy Lockhart set them loose and failed to stop them with Peskipiksi Pesternomi. In the second film, she casts the spell with the incantation "Immobulus". In the third film, Professor Lupin uses the spell "Immobulus" to immobilize the Whomping Willow.

Furnunculus (Furnunculus Curse)

Description: Causes the target to become covered in boils.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Harry in Goblet of Fire on Draco, but was deflected onto Goyle instead. Also used later in the book when Draco tried to harass Harry on the Hogwarts Express and was hit with a barrage of curses, including the Furnuculus Curse (which was cast by Harry).
Suggested etymology: Latin furunculus originally meaning "petty thief" but later used to mean "boil" in English.



Description: Creates a duplicate of any object upon which it is cast. As revealed by the goblin Griphook, any copies created are worthless. The duplicate lasts several hours. Magical properties, at least of a Horcrux, are not copied.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Hermione in Deathly Hallows to copy Salazar Slytherin's locket to hide their tracks from Umbridge.
Suggested etymology: Latin gemino meaning "to double".

(Gemino Curse)

Description: Whenever an object affected by this curse is touched, it duplicates itself into many useless copies to hide the original. To add confusion and eventually fill the surrounding area with copies, the copies also duplicate.
Seen/mentioned: Seen in Deathly Hallows when Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Griphook break into the Lestrange vault in Gringotts. Used to great effect as the room fills with useless duplicates.
Suggested etymology: Latin gemino meaning "to double".


Pronunciation: or
Description: Causes the steps on a stairway to flatten and form a ramp or slide.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Hermione to escape from pursuing Death Eaters in Deathly Hallows. Used on the girls’ dormitory to ensure that boys cannot enter.
Suggested etymology: French glisser meaning "slide".

(Gripping Charm)

Description: Used to help someone grip something with more effectiveness. This charm is placed upon Quaffles to help Chasers carry the Quaffle whilst simultaneously holding their brooms.
Seen/mentioned: Mentioned in Quidditch Through the Ages.


(Hair Loss Curse)

Description: Causes one to lose one's hair.
Seen/mentioned: In Philosopher's Stone, Harry visits the "Curses and Counter-Curses" shop in Diagon Alley, on the sign it mentioned three curses: Hair loss, Jelly-Legs and Tongue-Tying.

(Hair-Thickening Charm)

Description: Thickens one's hair.
Seen/mentioned: In Order of the Phoenix, Snape asserts that Alicia Spinnet used it on her eyebrows even though she was obviously hexed by a member of the Slytherin Quidditch team.

Homenum Revelio

Description: Reveals humans near the caster.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Dumbledore to detect Harry under his Invisibility Cloak, but first named when used multiple times by various characters in Deathly Hallows. Also used by Hermione on her, Ron, and Harry's arrival at Grimmauld Place after being attacked by Death Eaters in Tottenham Court Road, after the wedding.
Suggested etymology: Latin homo/hominis meaning "person" and Latin revelo meaning "to unveil".

(Homorphus Charm)

Description: Causes an Animagus or transfigured object to assume its normal shape.
Seen/mentioned: According to Lockhart, he used it to force the Wagga Waggamarker Werewolf to take its human form. It was, however, used by Lupin and Sirius on the rat named Scabbers to reveal that he was Peter Pettigrew in Prisoner of Azkaban.
Suggested etymology: Latin homo meaning "person" and Greek morphosis meaning "shaping".

(Horton-Keitch Braking Charm)

Description: This spell was first used on the Comet 140 to prevent players from overshooting the goal posts and from flying off-sides.
Seen/mentioned: Mentioned in Quidditch Through the Ages as the charm that gave the Comet 140 an advantage over the Cleansweep.

(Hot-Air Charm)

Description: Causes wand to emit hot air.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Hermione Granger in Order of the Phoenix to dry off her robes. Also used shortly after to melt snow. Also was used by Albus Dumbledore in Half-Blood Prince to dry Harry's and his own robes.

(Hover Charm)

Description: An object is levitated off the ground and moved according to the caster.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Dobby silently in Chamber of Secrets to levitate a Cake, of which Harry is accused. Also used by Xenophilius to clear rubble off his stairs in Deathly Hallows.

(Hurling Hex)

Description: Causes brooms to vibrate violently in the air and try to buck their rider off.
Seen/mentioned: In Philosopher's Stone, Quirinus Quirrell may have been casting a wordless and wandless version of this spell on Harry's broom during his Quidditch match. Flitwick suggested that Harry's confiscated Firebolt might be jinxed with this spell.


Impedimenta (Impediment Jinx, Impediment Curse)

Description: This powerful spell is capable of tripping, freezing, binding, knocking back and generally impeding the target's progress towards the caster. The extent to which the spell's specific action can be controlled by the caster is not made clear. If this spell does bind, it does eventually wear off as stated in Deathly Hallows.
Seen/mentioned: Used in Goblet of Fire when Harry is practicing for the third task. Also used by Madam Hooch to shortly stop Harry from fighting with Draco. Also seen toward the end of Order of the Phoenix, when Harry is fighting the Death Eaters. Stronger uses of this spell seem capable of blowing targets away.
Suggested etymology: Latin impedimentum (plural impedimenta) meaning "a hindrance" or "an impediment".

Imperio (Imperius Curse)

Description: Causes the victim of the curse to obey the spoken/unspoken commands of the caster. The experience of being controlled by this curse is described as a complete, wonderful release from any sense of responsibility or worry over one's actions, at the price of one's free will. Resisting the effect of the curse is possible, however, and several individuals have been able to successfully overcome it, including Harry and both of the Crouches, who learn to resist the curse after being subjected to its effects for an extended period. Harry describes the feeling of being the caster as controlling a marionette through a wand (although Harry's particular experience is suspect due to his lack of commitment to casting Unforgivable Curses). One of the three Unforgivable Curses.
Seen/mentioned: First mentioned (not by name) in the first book when Ron told Harry that Lucius Malfoy claimed himself being jinxed during the first war, thus Lucius evaded imprisonment. First seen in Goblet of Fire introduced by Barty Crouch Jr (acting as Moody) and used on a spider. Later seen in the book when Professor Moody used it on all the students to see if they would be able to overcome it. Used by Harry in Deathly Hallows on a Gringotts goblin and Travers, and by the Death Eaters on Pius Thicknesse.
Suggested etymology: Imperare is Latin for "to order, command", and is the root of several modern English words. Imperium means "command" or "domain", and imperio means (among other things) "with authority". (Compare to impero, "I command", and to crucio above.) Imperius is not, however, a Latin word.

(Imperturbable Charm)

Description: Makes objects such as doors impenetrable (by everything, including sounds and objects).
Seen/mentioned: The spell is used by Mrs Weasley in Order of the Phoenix on the door of the room in which an Order meeting was being held, to prevent her sons, Fred and George, from eavesdropping (using their extendable ears). Also mentioned in Half-Blood Prince when Harry, Ron, and Hermione followed Draco to Borgin and Burkes and used extendable ears
Suggested etymology: Latin imperturbatus meaning "calm" or "undisturbed".

Impervius (Impervius Charm)

Description: This spell makes something repel (literally, become impervious to) substances and outside forces, including water.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Hermione in Prisoner of Azkaban on Harry's glasses while in a Quidditch match and also by the Gryffindor Quidditch team in Order of the Phoenix, both times to allow team members to see in a driving rain. Also used in Deathly Hallows, first by Ron to protect objects in Yaxley's office from rain, and then by Hermione in an attempt to protect Harry, Ron and Griphook from the burning treasure in the Lestranges' vault.
Suggested etymology: Correct classical Latin impervius meaning "impassable".


Description: Ties someone or something up with ropes.
Seen/mentioned: An unnamed spell, presumably incarcerous, is used by Snape to tie up Lupin in the Shrieking Shack in Prizoner of Azkaban and likewise in Goblet of Fire when Pettigrew ties Harry to Tom Riddle's grave. Incarcerous itself is first heard in Order of the Phoenix, when Umbridge gets in a battle with the centaurs. Also used by Harry on the Inferi in Voldemort's Horcrux chamber, in Half-Blood Prince.
Suggested etymology: English incarcerate meaning "to imprison" or "to confine", via Latin carcer meaning "prison."


Description: Produces fire. Flames burst out flying.
Seen/mentioned: It is first seen in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone when Hagrid (nonverbally) produces fire out of his umbrella in the little house the Dursleys took refuge in (from the Hogwarts letters). In Half-Blood Prince, this spell is used several times in battle, for instance when Hagrid's hut is set ablaze.
Suggested etymology: Deformation of Latin verb incendo, meaning "to burn, to set fire".

(Intruder Charm)

Description: Detects intruders and sounds an alarm.
Seen/mentioned: Slughorn had it on a temporary Muggle owned house he was living in, allowing him to detect Dumbledore and Harry as they approached in Half-Blood Prince. It is possible that Alastor Moody had it on his house to set off charmed dustbins (which spewed litter at intruders) if there was an intruder on his property.


(Jelly-Brain Jinx)

Description: Presumably affects the target's mental processes.
Seen/mentioned: During the September 1999 riot that took place during the Puddlemere/Holyhead Quidditch game.

(Jelly-Fingers Curse)

Description: Causes the target's fingers to become almost jelly-like to make it impossible for the victim to grasp objects. If the opponent touches a wall, he/she will be stuck to it forever.
Seen/mentioned: After a June 1999 Portree/Arrows Quidditch game, the losing Seeker accused his opposite number of putting this curse on him as they both closed in on the Snitch.

(Jelly-Legs Jinx)

Description: A jinx that renders its victim's legs temporarily useless, leaving him/her to wobble around helplessly until the effect wears off or the counter-jinx is performed.
Seen/mentioned: First mentioned as one of the jinxes in the book Curses and Counter-Curses. First used on Harry, while practising for the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament, by Hermione. At the end of the term, Draco, Crabbe and Goyle tried to harass Harry on the Hogwarts Express and were hit with a few hexes, curses and jinxes, including the Jelly-Legs Jinx (cast by George Weasley).


(Knee-Reversal Hex)

Description: Causes the victim's knees to appear on the opposite side of his/her legs.
Seen/mentioned: In Quidditch Through the Ages, Gertie Keddle uses this hex when a man playing an early form of Quidditch comes to retrieve his ball from her garden.



Description: Glues the victim's tongue to the roof of his/her mouth. Created by Severus Snape.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Harry in Half-Blood Prince on Peeves and on Argus Filch, to general applause.
Suggested etymology: Latin lingua meaning "a tongue" or "a language" and English lock meaning "to fasten".


Description: Allows the caster to delve into the mind of the victim, allowing the caster to see the memories, thoughts, and emotions of the victim.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Snape on Harry during Occlumency lessons in Order of the Phoenix and by Dumbledore on Kreacher. Also used nonverbally by Snape on Harry in Half-Blood Prince to allow him to see where Harry had learned the Sectumsempra spell. Used by Lord Voldemort multiple times to see Harry's thoughts.
Suggested etymology: Latin legere meaning "to read" and Latin mens meaning "mind".
Notes: See also Legilimency for more information.


Pronunciation: (nonverbal)
Description: The victim is dangled upside-down by one of his/her ankles, sometimes accompanied by a flash of white light. Created by Severus Snape.
Seen/mentioned: It was originally shown to be a nonverbal-only spell, but in the Deathly Hallows, the text shows that Hermione whispers it to lift Harry so he can steal the Cup of Helga Hufflepuff. Harry learns it by reading the notes written by the Half-Blood Prince. He inadvertently uses it on Ron in Half-Blood Prince. In addition, in Order of Phoenix, Harry sees (through the Pensieve) his father, James, use the spell against Snape.The counter curse is Liberacorpus.
Suggested etymology: Latin verb levo meaning "to raise" and Latin corpus meaning "body".
Notes: Though Harry initially learns Levicorpus as a nonverbal spell, it is used verbally by James Potter in The Order of the Phoenix and by Hermione Granger in The Deathly Hallows thus proving that it is not only a nonverbal spell.


Pronunciation: (nonverbal)
Description: The counter spell to Levicorpus. Created by Severus Snape.
Seen/mentioned: Harry uses the spell in Half-Blood Prince to counteract the Levicorpus spell he inadvertently casts on Ron. Hermione also casts it on him in Deathly Hallows after managing to retrieve the Horcrux from the shelf in the Lestranges vault.
Suggested etymology: Latin liberare meaning "to free", and Latin corpus meaning "body".


Description: The spell is always used with the name of a target, at which the wand is pointed (e.g. "Locomotor Trunk!"). The spell causes the named object to rise in the air and move around at the will of the caster.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Tonks in Order of the Phoenix to move Harry's trunk from his room. Flitwick similarly uses it to move Sybill Trelawney's trunk after Umbridge sacks her. Parvati Patil and Lavender Brown use this spell to race their pencil cases around the edges of the table. A variation seen in Deathly Hallows is Piertotum Locomotor, which animated the suits of armour in Hogwarts.
Suggested etymology: Latin loco meaning "to place" and Latin moto meaning "to move about".

Locomotor Mortis (Leg-Locker Curse)

Description: Locks the legs together, preventing the victim from moving the legs in any fashion. The target can hop when affected by this curse, but walking is impossible without the countercurse
Seen/mentioned: Used by Draco on Neville Longbottom in Philosopher's Stone. Also mentioned further on in the book as Ron and Hermione prepare to use it on Snape during a Quidditch match. Used by Harry on Draco, who deflects it, in Half-Blood Prince.
Suggested etymology: Latin loco meaning "to place", Latin moto meaning "to move about", and Latin mors/mortis meaning "death".


Description: Creates a narrow beam of light that shines from the wand's tip, like a torch.
Seen/mentioned: First seen in Chamber of Secrets and then constantly throughout the series.
Suggested etymology: Latin lumen meaning "light".
Notes: The counter spell, Nox, extinguishes the light. The caster of this spell can cast other spells while this spell is in effect.


Meteolojinx Recanto

Description: Causes weather effects caused by incantations to cease.
Seen/mentioned: Suggested in Deathly Hallows by Arthur Weasley to Ron (disguised by the Polyjuice Potion as Reginald 'Reg' Cattermole from Magical Maintenance) as the best way to clear up the incessant rain in Yaxley's office at the Ministry.
Suggested etymology: Greek meteôrologia meaning "meteorology", English jinx meaning "to bring bad luck to", and Latin recanto meaning "recall, revoke".


Description: Lifts a tree a few inches off the ground and levitates it to where the caster points his or her wand.
Seen/mentioned: In Prisoner of Azkaban, Hermione uses the spell to move a Christmas Tree in The Three Broomsticks beside her table to hide Harry, who was in Hogsmeade illegally.
Suggested etymology: Latin mobilito meaning "to set in motion" and Latin arbor/arbos meaning "a tree".


Description: Lifts a body a few inches off the ground and levitates it where the caster points his or her wand
Seen/mentioned: Sirius Black uses it on Severus Snape in Prisoner of Azkaban.
Suggested etymology: Latin mobilito meaning "to set in motion" and Latin corpus meaning "a body".

Morsmordre (Dark Mark)

Description: Conjures the Dark Mark, Voldemort's mark. It is often used to mark deaths, or cause terror (as at the Quidditch World Cup in The Goblet of Fire)
Seen/mentioned: Used by Barty Crouch Jr in Goblet of Fire. Also seen in Half-Blood Prince over the castle to lure Dumbledore to his death. Voldemort apparently invented it. According to Mr Weasley, very few wizards know how to cast this spell.
Suggested etymology: Latin mors meaning "death", and French mordre (from Latin mordere) meaning "to bite."


Description: Keeps nearby people, or those to whom the wand is directed, from hearing nearby conversations.
Seen/mentioned: It is used in Half-Blood Prince by Harry and Ron on various teachers and people such as Madam Pomfrey. Hermione also uses it in Deathly Hallows in protection of the campsite where she and Harry stayed in hiding.
Suggested etymology: English muffle meaning "to make a sound less distinct by covering its source".



Description: Counter charm to the Lumos spell.
Seen/mentioned: In Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry and Hermione used this spell to turn off their wand-lights in the Shrieking Shack. Also used in Deathly Hallows when Harry was in the passage beneath the Whomping Willow that leads to the Shrieking Shack.
Suggested etymology: Correct classical Latin nox meaning "night".


(Obliteration Charm)

Description: Removes things not wished to be seen again.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Hermione in Order of the Phoenix to remove the footprints that she, Harry, and Ron left in the snow. Also used in Deathly Hallows by Hermione to remove the footprints she and Harry leave behind them in the snow as they journey through Godric's Hollow.
Notes: The above instances only reveal that the Obliteration Charm can remove footprints. There is no explanation as to what effect it can have on other things.

Obliviate (Memory Charm)

Description: Used to hide a memory of a particular event.
Seen/mentioned: First mentioned (not by name) in the Philosopher's Stone by Ron that it was used on Muggles who have seen dragons. First used in Chamber of Secrets by Lockhart who wanted to use it on Harry and Ron; the spell backfired because Ron's wand had been damaged, causing Lockhart to lose most of his own memory (which he never recovers). In Goblet of Fire, it is used by an unknown Ministry worker on Mr. Roberts and later the rest of his family. In Deathly Hallows, Hermione uses the spell on two Death Eaters who had followed Harry, Ron, and Hermione after their escape from Bill Weasley and Fleur's wedding. Also used on Xenophilius Lovegood by Hermione after destroying his house in Deathly Hallows.
Suggested etymology: Latin oblivium meaning "forgetfulness".


Description: Causes a blindfold to appear over the victim's eyes, obstructing his/her view of his/her surroundings.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Hermione in Deathly Hallows to obstruct the portrait of Phineas Nigellus Black' view of their location.
Suggested etymology: Correct classical Latin obscuro meaning "to conceal, to darken, to cover".


Description: Causes conjured objects to attack.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Hermione in Half-Blood Prince to attack Ron with a conjured flock of canaries (see Avis).
Suggested etymology: Correct classical Latin oppugno meaning "to attack".


Description: Makes a bouquet of flowers appear out of the caster's wand.
Seen/mentioned: Used in Goblet of Fire by Ollivander to test Fleur's wand.
Suggested etymology: English orchid meaning "a plant of a large family with complex showy flowers".



Pronunciation: , as in English
Description: Packs a trunk, or perhaps any luggage.
Seen/mentioned: Used in Prisoner of Azkaban by Lupin in his office, and in Order of the Phoenix by Tonks, once verbally and again non-verbally.

(Permanent Sticking Charm)

Description: Makes objects permanently stay in place.
Seen/mentioned: First mentioned in Order of the Phoenix, Sirius suspects that his mother's painting was fixed to the wall with such a Charm. In Deathly Hallows, Harry discovers that it was used by Sirius to permanently affix his pictures to the wall in his room.

Peskipiksi Pesternomi

Description: The one time it was uttered, it had absolutely no effect.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Lockhart to attempt to remove Cornish pixies.
Suggested etymology: English pesky meaning "annoying", English pixie meaning "a supernatural being", English pester meaning "to annoy", English no for negative and English me for the first person pronoun.
Notes: It is not known if the spell works or not.

Petrificus Totalus (Body-Bind Curse)

Description: Used to temporarily bind the victim's body in a position much like that of a soldier at attention; this spell does not restrict breathing or seeing, and the victim will usually fall to the ground.
Seen/mentioned: First used in Philosopher's Stone by Hermione, who was trying to prevent Neville from stopping her, Ron, and Harry from leaving the common room to hunt for the Philosopher's Stone. It is then used throughout the rest of the series, especially during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries in Order of the Phoenix. Seen in Half-Blood Prince twice: in the beginning, Draco uses the spell against Harry on the train, and later when Dumbledore casts the spell to make Harry freeze so he does not give himself away in the Astronomy Tower. The spell was broken when Dumbledore was killed.
Suggested etymology: English petrify meaning "to turn to stone" and English total meaning complete.
Notes: The eyes of the target remain mobile, as seen in the Philosopher's Stone, and in the Deathly Hallows.

Piertotum Locomotor

Description: Spell used to animate statues and suits of armour to do the caster's bidding.
Seen/mentioned: In Deathly Hallows, McGonagall uses this spell to animate the suits of armour and statues within Hogwarts to defend the castle.
Suggested etymology: Latin petrus, same etymology of Italian name "Pietro" (English "Peter"), meaning "stone", Latin totus meaning "whole of", Latin loco meaning "to place", and Latin moto meaning "to move about".

(Pig-tail Hex/Jinx)

Description: A hex/jinx that causes the victim to grow the tail of a pig from their rear.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Hagrid in The Philosopher's stone on Dudley Dursley when the latter was found eating Harry's birthday cake.

(Placement Charm)

Description: A charm which temporarily places an object upon a desired target.
Seen/mentioned: Mentioned in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Point Me (Four-Point Spell)

Pronunciation: , as in English
Description: Causes the caster's wand tip to point to the north cardinal point, acting like a compass.
Seen/mentioned: By Harry during the third task of the Triwizard Tournament in Goblet of Fire.


Description: Turns an object into a portkey. The object glows an odd blue colour to show it has been transformed into a portkey, then goes solid again.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Dumbledore in Order of the Phoenix.
Suggested etymology: Correct Latin portus, meaning "port, harbour, refuge, haven".
Notes: Portkeys were first seen in Goblet of Fire as a means for Harry, Hermione, and the Weasleys to go to the Quidditch World Cup. However, the spell used in its creation was not seen until Order of the Phoenix when Dumbledore creates a Portkey to get Harry Potter and Fred, George, Ron, and Ginny Weasley to Grimmauld Place. Also requires Ministry approval to use.

Prior Incantato

Description: Causes the echo (a shadow or image) of the last spell cast by a wand to emanate from it.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Amos Diggory in Goblet of Fire to discover the last spell cast by Harry's wand after it was found in the hands of Winky, a house-elf. Mentioned in Deathly Hallows as a means of discovering that Harry had been casting spells with Hermione's wand (implying that his own was broken).
Suggested etymology: Latin prior meaning "former" and Latin incanto meaning "to enchant".

(Protean Charm)

Description: Causes copies of an object to be remotely affected by changes made to the original.
Seen/mentioned: First used in Order of the Phoenix. Hermione put the charm on a number of fake Galleons. Instead of the serial number around the edge of the coin, the time and date of the next meeting of Dumbledore's Army appeared. Said to be a spell at NEWT level.
Suggested etymology: English protean meaning "able to change or adapt".

Protego (Shield Charm)

Description: The Shield Charm causes minor to strong jinxes, curses, and hexes to rebound upon the attacker, or at least prevents them from having their full effect. It can also cause a shield to erupt from the caster's wand. This Charm was created by Trevor Poor
Seen/mentioned: First seen in Goblet of Fire, in which Harry Potter is taught this spell by Hermione Granger in preparation for the third task in the Triwizard Tournament. Also used throughout the series. Examples are in Order of the Phoenix when Harry blocks Snape's Legilimency after a lengthy Occlumency lessons and when Harry is duelling the Death Eaters. Harry later uses this spell in Half-Blood Prince to block Snape's jinx when he was showing Ron how to cast a spell without saying a word. Hermione later uses it in Deathly Hallows to separate Ron and Harry when they are fighting.
Suggested etymology: Latin protego meaning "to protect".
Notes: Cannot block unforgivable curses.

Protego Horribilis

Description: Provides some form of protection against Dark Magic.
Seen/mentioned: Cast by Flitwick in an attempt to strengthen the castle's defences in Deathly Hallows
Suggested etymology: Latin protego meaning "to protect", Latin horribilis meaning "horrible".

Protego Totalum

Description: Provides protection of some form for an area or dwelling.
Seen/mentioned: In Deathly Hallows, this is one of the spells used by Hermione and Harry to protect their camp site from unwanted visitors.
Suggested etymology: Latin protego meaning "to protect" and Latin totus meaning "as a whole".



Description: Makes a magically magnified voice return to normal.
Seen/mentioned: Used in Goblet of Fire by Ludo Bagman.
Suggested etymology: Correct classical Latin quietus meaning "undisturbed, calm".
Notes: Functions as the counter spell to Sonorus.



Description: Makes an enlarged object smaller. Counter-charm to Engorgio.
Seen/mentioned: Used in Goblet of Fire by Barty Crouch Jr (as Moody) to shrink the spider he used to demonstrate the Cruciatus Curse. Harry attempts the spell in the Deathly Hallows when practising with Draco's blackthorn wand.
Suggested etymology: Latin reducio meaning "to bring back".

Reducto (Reductor Curse)

Description: Enables the caster to explode solid objects.
Seen/mentioned: In Goblet of Fire, Harry uses it on one of the hedges of the Triwizard maze and ends up burning a small hole in it; in Order of the Phoenix, Gryffindors in Harry's year reference Parvati Patil as being able to reduce a table full of dark detectors to ashes and Ginny uses it in the Room of Requirement during the practice and in the Hall of Prophecy, Department of Mysteries; in Half Blood Prince, a member of the Order of the Phoenix attempts to use this spell to break down a door which Death Eaters have blocked when the Death Eaters have cornered Dumbledore in the Lightning Struck Tower.
Suggested etymology: Latin reductio meaning "restoration".

(Refilling Charm)

Description: Refills whatever at which the caster points with the drink originally in the container.
Seen/mentioned: Used in Half-Blood Prince, when Harry notices that Hagrid and Slughorn are running out of mead.


Description: A charm used to force someone or something to release that which it holds or grapples by means of shooting fiery sparks out or, underwater, shooting hot bursts of water.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Harry against Grindylows in the second task of the Triwizard Tournament. When used more expertly by Bob Ogden in Half-Blood Prince, it threw Marvolo Gaunt backwards after an attempted attack. Hermione uses it in Deathly Hallows to free Mrs Cattermole from the chained chair.
Suggested etymology: Italian rilasciare meaning "to release".


Description: Brings someone out of unconsciousness.
Seen/mentioned: In Goblet of Fire, Amos Diggory uses it to wake up Winky and Dumbledore uses it to wake up Krum and Barty Crouch Jr. In "Half-Blood Prince", Harry later uses it to try to reawaken a cursed Dumbledore in the seaside cave.
Suggested etymology: Officially renamed from Ennervate by J. K. Rowling from the prefix "re-" would come from Latin re-, "again" and "en-" Old French from "in-" L. cause to be + "nerves" Eng. c.1603 strength, from "nervus" L. nerve
Notes: Counter spell to Stupefy; when this spell is cast, red light is emitted.


Description: Used to repair broken or damaged objects.
Seen/mentioned: Many times throughout the books. First used by Hermione, when she uses it to fix a broken window. Shattered objects are often described as having "flown" back together. However, substances contained within broken objects are not restored.
Notes: There are some things that can not be repaired by this spell, for example, a wand, but in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the "Elder Wand" or "Wand of Destiny", repaired Harry's original wand.
Suggested etymology: Latin reparo meaning "to renew" or "repair".

Repello Muggletum (Muggle-Repelling Charm)

Description: Keeps Muggles away from wizarding places by causing them to remember important meetings they missed and to cause the Muggles in question to forget what they were doing in the first place.
Seen/mentioned: Mentioned in Quidditch Through the Ages as being used to keep Muggles away from the Quidditch World Cup. Hogwarts was also said to be guarded by the Muggle-Repelling Charm. Harry and Hermione also use it on numerous occasions, among many other spells, to protect and hide their campsite in Deathly Hallows.
Suggested etymology: Latin repello meaning "to drive away".

Rictusempra (Tickling Charm)

Description: The subject experiences the sensation of being tickled
Seen/mentioned: First seen used by Harry on Draco in Chamber of Secrets, when they fought in the Duelling Club.
Suggested etymology: Latin rictus meaning "open mouth", and Latin semper meaning "always".
Notes: This spell takes the form of a jet of silver light (purple in video games).


Description: A spell used when fighting a Boggart, "Riddikulus" forces the Boggart to take the appearance of an object upon which the caster is concentrating. When used correctly, this will be a humorous form.
Seen/mentioned: First seen in Prisoner of Azkaban, when taught by Lupin. Then seen in Goblet of Fire on a boggart that was in the maze in the Third Task. Finally seen in Order of the Phoenix, when Mrs Weasley tries to cast Riddikulus on a Boggart in Grimmauld Place.
Suggested etymology: Latin ridiculus meaning "absurd".
Notes: The effect depends on what the caster is thinking. Neville concentrates on his grandmother's dress, causing a Boggart in the form of Snape to appear in it.


Salvio Hexia

Description: Provides some form of protection against hexes.
Seen/mentioned: Harry and Hermione cast this spell to strengthen their campsite's defences against intruders in Deathly Hallows.
Suggested etymology: Latin salvus meaning "safe" and English hex meaning "a magic spell".

Scourgify (Scouring Charm)

Description: Used to clean something.
Seen/mentioned: First used by Tonks to clean Hedwig's cage in Order of the Phoenix. Later, Ginny performs the spell to clean up Stinksap in the Hogwarts Express. While looking at Snape's memories, Harry sees Sirius use the spell on Snape's mouth.
Suggested etymology: English scour meaning "to clean by vigorous rubbing".


Description: Violently wounds the target; described as being as though the subject had been "slashed by a sword". Created by Severus Snape.
Seen/mentioned: First seen in Order of the Phoenix when Snape uses it in his memory against James, but misses and only lightly cuts his cheek. Used unsuccessfully by Harry in Half-Blood Prince against Draco, and then later against the Inferi in Voldemort's Horcrux chamber, and Snape during his flight from Hogwarts. In the opening chapters of Deathly Hallows, Snape accidentally casts this curse against George Weasley in the Order's flight from Privet Drive, though George was not his intended target. It is known as a specialty of Snape's.
Suggested etymology: Correct classical Latin sectum, past participle of verb seco, "to cut", and deformation of Latin adverb semper meaning "always".
Notes: Though Snape was able to mend the wounds inflicted on Draco by this curse with ease, with "an incantation that sounded almost like song", Mrs Weasley was unable to heal her son George, when his ear was severed by the curse. It was discovered in an old copy of Advanced Potion Making by Harry; Sectumsempra was invented by Snape with the words "For enemies" written next to it.


Description: Conjures a serpent from the spell caster’s wand.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Draco whilst duelling Harry in Chamber of Secrets and Voldemort in the duel against Dumbledore in Order of the Phoenix.
Suggested etymology: Latin serpens meaning "a snake" and French Sortir meaning "come out of, to leave".

Silencio (Silencing Charm)

Description: Silences something immediately
Seen/mentioned: First used by Hermione in Order of the Phoenix to silence a frog and a raven in Charms class, then later to silence a Death Eater who was trying to use a spell against Harry Potter. It was also used by Voldemort in Deathly Hallows during the Battle of Hogwarts.
Suggested etymology: Italian silenzio or Spanish silencio meaning "silence".

(Slug-Vomiting Charm)

Description: A jet of green light strikes the victim, who then vomits slugs for an undefined period of time (greater than five hours). The sizes of the vomited slugs decrease with time.
Seen/mentioned: In Chamber of Secrets, Ron attempts to use it on Draco; the spell backfired and hit him instead. Mentioned in Order of the Phoenix before Gryffindor's first Quidditch Match against Slytherin when Draco taunts Ron, "Harry was reminded forcibly of the time that Ron had accidentally put a Slug-Vomiting Charm on himself".


Description: Magnifies the spell caster’s voice, functioning as a magical megaphone
Seen/mentioned: By Ludo Bagman and Cornelius Fudge in Goblet of Fire to commentate at the Quidditch World Cup and during the Triwizard Tournament. Also used by Dumbledore to silence everyone in the Great Hall in Goblet of Fire. Used by Voldemort several times during the Battle of Hogwarts in Deathly Hallows.
Suggested etymology: Correct classical Latin sonorus meaning "loud".
Notes: The counter-spell is Quietus.

Specialis Revelio (Scarpin's Revelaspell)

Description: Causes an object to show its hidden secrets or magical properties.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Hermione to find out more of Harry's Advanced Potion-Making book in Half-Blood Prince. Used by Ernie Macmillan to find out the ingredients of a potion.
Suggested etymology: Deformation of Latin specialis meaning "special" and revelo meaning "to unveil".

(Stealth Sensoring Spell)

Description: Detects those under magical disguise.
Seen/mentioned: In Order of the Phoenix, Umbridge casts this around her office. Also used at the entrance to the Ministry of Magic.

(Stinging Hex, Stinging Jinx)

Description: Produces a stinging sensation in the victim, resulting in angry red welts and occasionally the severe inflammation of the affected area.
Seen/mentioned: Harry inadvertently casts one on Snape during Occlumency lessons in Order of the Phoenix. Hermione casts the Stinging Hex on Harry in Deathly Hallows to purposefully distort Harry's appearance.

Stupefy (Stunning Spell, Stupefying Charm, Stunner)

Description: Puts the victim in an unconscious state. Manifests as a jet of red light.
Seen/mentioned: First seen in Goblet of Fire use by Ministry officials in at Quidditch World Cup. Also seen used by a number of Ministry officials against McGonagall in Order of the Phoenix. It is also taught by Harry in his Dumbledore's Army meetings and used extensively during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries against the Death Eaters. Is seen by some, including Harry himself, as the basic spell for fighting. Death Eaters, Ministry Officials, Order members and students all seem to refer to this spell as their preferred attack.
Suggested etymology: English stupefy (to make stupid, groggy, insensible), which derives from Latin stupefacio meaning "to make senseless",.
Notes: Hagrid was able to withstand multiple direct Stunners due to being half-giant, and Goblet of Fire shows six to seven wizards working in unison to Stun a single dragon.

(Supersensory Charm)

Description: Able to possess superior senses than before.
Seen/mentioned: Mentioned by Ron outside of the Hogwarts Express during the epilogue of Deathly Hallows as a potential substitute for using mirrors while driving a car.

(Switching Spell)

Description: Causes two objects to be switched for one another.
Seen/mentioned: Harry contemplates using this spell against his dragon in the first task of the Triwizard Tournament. Neville also uses this in Transfiguration class in Goblet of Fire, and accidentally transplants his ears onto a cactus.



Description: A jinx which may be placed upon a word or a name, so that whenever that word is spoken, a magical disturbance is created that alerts the caster of the Taboo to the location of the speaker. Any protective enchantments in effect around the speaker are broken when the Tabooed word is spoken aloud.
Seen/mentioned: In Deathly Hallows, this spell is placed on the word "Voldemort"; Harry, Ron and Hermione are tracked this way to Tottenham Court Roadmarker. Ron tells the other two to stop using the word as he began to fear the name might be a jinx, later discovering it to be a Taboo. Later in the book, Harry says Voldemort's name again, resulting in the trio being caught by Death Eaters and taken to Malfoy Manor.


Description: Makes victim's legs dance uncontrollably, so the victim cannot control his or her movements (recalling the tarantella dance).
Seen/mentioned: First used by Draco on Harry in the Duelling Club in Chamber of Secrets. It can be stopped using Finite, as mentioned in Order of the Phoenix. It is notably used against Neville in the Department of Mysteries, causing the prophecy to be broken.
Suggested etymology: Italian taranta or tarantella (traditional Southern Italian folk dances with rapid, whirling movements) and Italian allegra meaning "joyful".


Description: Siphons material from a surface, (e.g., blood, ink, dust, etc.)
Seen/mentioned: Hermione uses this spell in Half-Blood Prince to remove blood from Harry's face, as well as to remove ink from an essay that Ron had completed previously. It was used in Deathly Hallows to clean off a handkerchief by Ron, and to dust off a picture of Gellert Grindelwald in Bathilda Bagshot's house.
Suggested etymology: Correct classical Latin tergeo meaning "to wipe, scour, clean".

(Tongue-Tying Curse)

Description: A curse that prevents certain information from being revealed by the individual upon whom the spell is placed. The curse manifests itself by causing the tongue to temporarily curl backwards upon itself.
Seen/mentioned: First mentioned as one of the spells in Curses and Counter-Curses. Seen in Deathly Hallows as a deterrent to Snape, or any other unwanted visitor of Number 12 Grimmauld Place, from betraying their location to anyone else.

(Transmogrifian Torture)

Seen/mentioned: Gilderoy Lockhart suggested that it was this curse that "killed" Mrs Norris after she was really found petrified on a torch bracket in Chamber Of Secrets

(Trip Jinx)

Description: Causes the victim of the jinx to trip and fall.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Draco in Order of the Phoenix, to catch Harry when he was fleeing after Dumbledore's Army was discovered.


(Unbreakable Vow)

Description: Causes a vow taken by a witch or wizard to be inviolable; if he or she should break it, the consequence is death. It manifests itself as interlinking chains of fire binding the clasped hands of the people taking the Vow; the fire shoots out as a tongue of flame from the wand of the Binder (a witness to the Vow) every time the person who takes the vow makes a promise. The flames then form into the linking chains.
Seen/mentioned: Snape takes an Unbreakable Vow with Narcissa Malfoy at the beginning of Half-Blood Prince, vowing to help Narcissa's son Draco with a task given to him by Voldemort, and to finish the task should Draco prove incapable. Fred and George attempted to force an Unbreakable Vow upon Ron as children. According to Ron, it causes death when the vow is broken.

(Undetectable Extension Charm)

Description: Causes a container's capacity to be increased, without changing the object's external appearance.
Seen/mentioned: This spell is used by Mr Weasley to allow eight people, six large trunks, two owls, and a rat to fit comfortably inside his modified Ford Anglia in Chamber of Secrets. Hermione casts this spell upon her small beaded handbag in Deathly Hallows. Probably used in Goblet of Fire to make the tents internal appearance bigger.

(Unbreakable Charm)

Description: Causes an object to become unbreakable.
Seen/mentioned: Hermione uses this spell in Goblet of Fire on a glass jar containing Rita Skeeter in her unregistered animagus form (a beetle) so as to make sure she could not return to human form.



Description: Appears to launch small objects through the air.
Seen/mentioned: Used only once in the series, by Lupin in Prisoner of Azkaban to expel a wad of chewing gum from the key hole Peeves put it in, launching it up Peeves' nose.
Suggested etymology: English wad meaning "a lump of soft material".
Note: This may have been an improvised charm because the word "wad" is in the spell, with the spell acting on a wad of gum.

Wingardium Leviosa (Levitation Charm)

Description: Levitates objects.
Seen/mentioned: First seen in The Philosopher's Stone, when Flitwick's first-year class practice the spell on feathers. Later in that book, Ron performs the spell on the club of a mountain troll. Harry uses it to hold himself up on Hagrid's motorbike much later on, in The Deathly Hallows. Later in the same book, Ron uses it to prod the knot at the base of the Whomping Willow with a twig to allow him, Harry and Hermione into the Shrieking Shack.
Suggested etymology: Deformation of English word wing meaning "fly",, Latin arduus meaning "tall" and Latin levis meaning "light".

See also


  1. Potter spells from CBBC. Retrieved on August 25, 2007.
  2. BBC Big Read Transcript from MuggleNet Retrieved on, August 23, 2007. (Note: this is a transcript of a BBC television program)
  3. Spells and Charms in Latin from Retrieved on August 25, 2007.
  4. Japanese Press Conference PoA Retrieved on August 23, 2007
  5., accessed 4-22-2008
  6. Danker, Frederick William, ed. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 2000.
  7. Simpson, D P. Cassell's Latin Dictionary. New York, New York: Wiley Publishing, Inc., 1968.
  8. J.K.Rowling Official Site
  9. accessed 23/8/07
  10. CBBC newsround. Note that the answers are given here as 1c, 2b, 3b, 4a, 5c.
  11. Danker, Frederick William, ed. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 2000.
  12. Word Origins Harry Potter Fan Zone, accessed 3-18-2008
  13. Dictionary and Grammar Aid, University of Notre Dame, accessed 3-18-2008.
  14. Dictionary Reference, accessed 7-11-2008.
  15. Perseus Project, Tufts University, accessed 3-18-2008.
  16. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, p.176
  17. Section: F.A.Q. So how DO the members of the Order of the Phoenix communicate with each other? from
  18. patron - Definitions from
  19. CBBC Newsround], accessed 23/8/07. Note answers are given here as 1F, 2K, 3B, 4I, 5G, 6H, 7J, 8C, 9D, 10E, 11A
  20. accessed 23/8/07
  22. ARTFL Project: French-English Dictionary Form, University of Chicago, accessed 3-18-2008.
  23. J.K. Rowling Web Chat Transcript - The Leaky Cauldron
  24. Ask Oxford, Oxford English Dictionary, accessed 3-18-2008
  25. accessed 23/8/07
  26. Online English-Italian Dictionary, Reverso Dictionary, accessed 3-18-2008.
  27. HPL: Encyclopedia of Spells: R
  28. Online Dictionary, Online Dictionary, accessed 11-25-2008

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