Hocus-pocus Definition

hōkəs-pōkəs
hocus-pocus
noun
Meaningless words used as a formula by conjurers.
Webster's New World
A magician's trick or trickery; sleight of hand; legerdemain.
Webster's New World
Foolishness or empty pretense used especially to disguise deception or chicanery.
American Heritage
Any meaningless action or talk drawing attention away from some deception.
Webster's New World
Trickery; deception.
Webster's New World
Antonyms:
Advertisement
verb
To trick; dupe.
Webster's New World

(colloquial) To cheat.

Wiktionary
interjection
A phrase used as a magical incantation to bring about some change.
Wiktionary

Alternative spelling of hocus-pocus.

Wiktionary

Origin of Hocus-pocus

  • Dates from the 17th century when used by jugglers and magicians as a nonsense magical incantation. . Some believe it is a corruption of words from the Roman Catholic liturgy of the Eucharist, hoc est corpus meum, although this is disputed.

    From Wiktionary

  • Possibly from an alteration of Latin hoc est corpus (meum) this is (my) body (words used in the Eucharist at the time of transubstantiation)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

Find Similar Words

Find similar words to hocus-pocus using the buttons below.

Words Starting With

Words Ending With

Unscrambles

hocus-pocus
Advertisement