ab·​ra·​ca·​dab·​ra | \ ˌa-brə-kə-ˈda-brə How to pronounce abracadabra (audio) \

Definition of abracadabra

1 : a magical charm or incantation
2 : unintelligible language

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of abracadabra in a Sentence

originally, an abracadabra was a cryptogram of the word “abracadabra” that was repeated in diminishing form until it disappeared entirely—supposedly just like the targeted evil or misfortune after some abracadabra the spiritualist announced that we had made contact with “the other side”
Recent Examples on the Web When someone pushed the button — abracadabra — the bus went from Boston to New York, just like that. James Barron, New York Times, "Relaxing, Weird, Beautiful: Riding the Bus on the New 14th Street," 11 Oct. 2019 And that the shareholders will then subsequently spend that money buying things—a new car, a new refrigerator, perhaps—and abracadabra, the economy will be set on fire for the first time in more than a decade. William D. Cohan, The Hive, "The Republican Tax Plan Is a Recession Waiting to Happen," 13 Dec. 2017 Take Loren Brichter, the designer who created pull-to-refresh (the downward abracadabra swipe that prompts new app content to load). Catherine Cusick, Longreads, "Immature Architects Built the Attention Economy," 11 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abracadabra.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of abracadabra

1565, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for abracadabra

borrowed from Late Latin, of obscure origin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about abracadabra

Time Traveler for abracadabra

Time Traveler

The first known use of abracadabra was in 1565

See more words from the same year

Statistics for abracadabra

Last Updated

21 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Abracadabra.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abracadabra. Accessed 18 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for abracadabra


ab·​ra·​ca·​dab·​ra | \ ˌa-brə-kə-ˈda-brə How to pronounce abracadabra (audio) \

Kids Definition of abracadabra

: a magical charm or word

More from Merriam-Webster on abracadabra

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abracadabra

Nglish: Translation of abracadabra for Spanish Speakers

Comments on abracadabra

What made you want to look up abracadabra? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


experienced by way of someone else

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!