Difference Between Hex and Curse (With Table)

The difference between hex and curse is that hex is a magical incantation that relates to the practice of casting evil spells on an individual or an object, while curse is simply the practice of wishing someone ill-luck and adversaries. The two terms differ in terms of their definitions as well as their adjoined connotations.

Hexes are known to be malicious spells -usually cast by a witch or a wizard- that have the power to inflict harm on the victim. Conversely, curses relate to the act of wishing for a supernatural detriment upon an individual by concentrating one’s ill-will towards the same person. Curses also have alternative connotations. Cursing can also stand for the act of using swear words. Such an alternative implication is absent in the case of hexes.

Comparison Table Between Hex and Curse

Parameters of ComparisonHexCurse
DefinitionA hex is defined as the practice of casting evil spells on an individual or an object.A curse is defined as the practice of wishing ill-luck upon an individual.
MeaningHex connotes a malevolent incantation.Curse stands for a wish that entreats for a supernatural detriment. Alternatively, a curse can also refer to the act of swearing.
Origin of the WordThe word ‘hex’ originated from the German word ‘hagzissa’ meaning a witch or a hag.The word ‘curse’ originated from the Old English word ‘curs’ connoting a prayer for an evil fate to befall upon an individual.
StrengthA hex is often considered a milder version of a curse.A curse is much more powerful than a hex.
ResultsHexes produce swift and instantaneous results, however, they are known to wither off fairly early.Curses are long-lasting. Sometimes they last for generations.
Degree of Harm CausedHexes are moderately harmful to the victims. Their limited powers restrict their effectiveness.Curses inflict severe harm upon their victims as they are significantly more powerful than hexes.
Cast By A hex is usually cast by a person who practices witchcraft.A curse can be cast by both a witchcraft practicing individual as well as others.
Reversing the SpellHexes are more difficult to reverse than curses.It is easier to reverse curses.  

What is a Hex?

The word hex has originated from the old German word ‘hagzissa’ which roughly translates to hag or witch. It is defined as the act of casting a foul incantation on an object or an individual with a wish to cause harm to the victim.

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Hexes can be cast solely by wizards or witches. Those who are trained in the art of witchcraft can effectively cast hexes to injure or severely wound their victims. However, commoners are not privy to the casting such hexes.

Hexes are known to be promptly effective. They produce results instantaneously. However, it is very difficult to reverse them. The person casting the hex has the sole power to reverse it. Moreover, they are known to be less harmful than the other varieties of spells that can cause grave damage to the victims.

What is a Curse?

A curse is the very practice of wishing that something untoward and malicious befalls an individual. Curses have the distinction of being cast by any individual. Their usage is not solely limited to the world of witchcraft.

In medieval times, curses were associated with the wrath of Gods and supernatural deities. The process of ‘breaking’ a curse is quite complicated. Sometimes elaborate rituals and ceremonies need to be held to break such spells.

All cultures have their own share of stories related to divine curses or certain cursed objects. Folklores have informed the common mind for decades about the various different types of curses including the most commonly known ones like the evil eye, jinx, and others. Various religious texts mention several distinct curses and their unfortunate repercussions.

Main Differences Between Hex and Curse

  1. The main difference between a hex and a curse is that the former term refers to the practice of casting an evil incantation on an object or a person, while the latter term connotes the practice of wishing bad luck on an individual.
  2. In their essence, each term references a different meaning. A hex stands for an evil spell or incantation, while a curse stands for a wish entreating a supernatural detriment. However, the word ‘curse’ also has a secondary meaning. It also connotes the act of swearing.
  3. Each word has a different history of origin. The word ‘hex’ is derived from the German word ‘hagzissa’ meaning ‘witch or hag’, while the word ‘curse’ has originated from the Old English term ‘curs’ meaning ‘a prayer for an evil fate to befall an individual’.
  4. A hex is an instantaneous evil spell that is believed to produce swift results. Conversely, a curse can last for lifetimes as well as generations.
  5. A hex is often categorized as a milder version of a curse. A curse is considerably more powerful than a hex.
  6. The degree of harm inflicted by each is different. Curses are known to inflict more severe harm to the victim than hexes.
  7. It is believed that hexes can solely be cast by those who perform witchcraft, while curses can be cast by wizards as well as commoners.
  8. It is believed that reversing a curse is comparatively easier than trying to reverse a hex. As the power of the supernatural is implicated in a hex, it is much more arduous to break or reverse.
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Curses and hexes are often clubbed together as synonyms. Their very conspicuous differences are overlooked to accentuate their marginal similarities. However, the two acts are seminally contrary to one another.

Each word originates from a different ancient term. The meanings of these words have undergone an evolution over the centuries of their usage.

Hex refers to the practice of casting malevolent spells on objects or individuals. They are usually done through incantations prepared by individuals who are well-versed in the field of witchcraft. Alternatively, curses are simply the act of wishing bad luck upon certain individuals. The word ‘curse’ can also signify swearing.

The two acts also differ in terms of their strength, power, duration of impact as well as the degree of harm each inflicts upon the victim. The possibility of reversing each is also different. Thus, one must cognize that each of these words is different and connotes a very different meaning.


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=zZCCAgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=hex+magic&ots=Li1IULTaxF&sig=T3ZMQvGmEo2PU3_bMbSlCeadP7E