The term warlock is often used to denote a male witch and some male witches embrace it though many consider it a derogatory term. Some witches use this term to name someone who has betrayed or broken the rules of his or her coven, who does not follow the Wiccan Rede or who practices black magic.

The term warlock is said among modern witches to mean "oathbreaker". The word descends from the proto-Indo-European *wēr-, meaning "true" which gave way to the Old English wǣr, meaning "promise" and loga meaning "lie".