The origin of the word ´aquelarre´ is analysed. The hypothesis by Dr. Azurmendi according to which it was an erudite construction. The author considers, in contrast to Azurmendi, that the belief in witchcraft by the Basque people is not completely the consequence of the 17th-century persecutions, but that it has its roots in popular tradition and that this can be seen as from the 15th century.