Difference between a Wizard and a Sorcerer

By: | Updated: Nov-18, 2017
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Wizards and sorcerers are both mythical in nature. While they are both weavers of magic, there are still notable differences between the two.

Summary Table

Wizard Sorcerer
Acquires magic through education and training Acquires magic through their bloodline
Good-natured Evil


A typical portrayal of a wizard

The term wizard was popularly used during the 1400’s. It was derived from the Middle English word wys which means “wise.” In literature, wizards are generally portrayed as persons who gained their magical powers through intense training and practice. Because of their extensive skills and experience, wizards possess unparalleled knowledge for using powers and charms.

Illustrations of wizards are often accompanied by props such as wands, scrolls and crystal balls. According to studies, the magical powers of a wizard are limited, depending on his mystical wisdom and ability.

An image of a sorceress in the earlier years

A sorcerer is a practitioner of magic who has innate mystical gifts. The term “sorcerer” was first coined in the 1520’s. It was derived from the Middle English sorcer, meaning “one who casts lots.”  Sorcerers acquire their supernatural powers through their bloodline.

Sorcerers are typically described as those who weave dark spells and summon demonic spirits. They usually require rare items such as gems or blood in order to conjure magic. Sorcerers are believed to perform magic for personal gains.

Wizard vs Sorcerer

So, what is the difference between a Wizard and a Sorcerer? While both of them can successfully use magic, spells, and charms, they greatly differ in purpose and ability.

Wizards have no magical ancestry. They gain their abilities through constant training. On the other hand, sorcerers inherit their ability to perform magic. They came from a bloodline of mystical origin. Wizards wield great powers through their knowledge and skills and they usually become advisers, guardians or teachers. Also, most wizards use their magic to help others. Sorcerers require other rare materials in order to procure their powers. They are believed to be dark magicians. Known to summon demons or gods, they create spells to cause harm to others.

In fictional books, wizards are old and white-haired. They usually walk with a staff or a wand, and they wear brightly colored cloaks and a tall pointed hat. They generally act less dangerous when they are around ordinary people. Sorcerers also wear cloaks and carry a staff or a wand. However, since their powers are genetically-acquired, many sorcerers are younger than wizards. They call on bad spirits to spread evilness in the world and have a darker image than wizards.

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