In Slavic mythology, a Vědmák (Russian: Ведьмак; Bulgarian: Вещер; Ukrainian: Відьмак, Vidmak, Belarusian: вядзьмак, вядзьмар,[1] Polish: Wiedźmin Serbian: Вештац[2]) is a warlock or male witch, the female equivalent (witch) being vědma,[3] but unlike the latter, the vedmak may also possess positive qualities.

For example, they treat people and animals,[4] protect humanity, and force witches to stop doing evil. On the other hand, they are thought to be people connected to the Devil, and are capable of harming other human beings by sending illnesses, killing cattle, spoiling a harvest, etc.[5] The word was also used as an insult.[5] A vedmak can turn into any animal or any object.[5] He is capable of shapeshifting into a horse, a moth, or a wolf. He is also resistant to rusalkas' enchantments.

The term Vedmak comes from Proto-Slavic *vědět ("to know") and Old Russian вѣдь ("knowledge; witchcraft", compare the use of the term "cunning" in English folklore).[6]

Under the influence of The Witcher fantasy saga by Andrzej Sapkowski, the term vedmak can be translated as "witcher" in English.


  1. Слоўнік беларускай мовы. Менск: Беларуская навука, 2012. ISBN 978-985-08-1365-7
  2. Aspects of contemporary Ukraine.
  3. Wood Besant, Annie (January–April 1903). Theosophical Review Magazine. Kessinger Publishing: 401. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. Ushakov's Dictionary
  5. 1 2 3 Yefimova's Modern Explanatory Dictionary of the Russian language, 2000.
  6. Fasmer, M (1987). Dictionary of Russian language in 4 volumes (2 ed.).

See also

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