hocus-pocus

noun
ho·​cus-po·​cus | \ ˌhō-kəs-ˈpō-kəs How to pronounce hocus-pocus (audio) \

Definition of hocus-pocus

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2 : nonsense or sham used especially to cloak deception

hocus-pocus

verb
hocus-pocussed or hocus-pocused; hocus-pocussing or hocus-pocusing

Definition of hocus-pocus (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to play tricks on

First Known Use of hocus-pocus

Noun

1647, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1774, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hocus-pocus

Noun

probably from hocus pocus, imitation Latin phrase used by jugglers

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Time Traveler for hocus-pocus

Time Traveler

The first known use of hocus-pocus was in 1647

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Cite this Entry

“Hocus-pocus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hocus-pocus. Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for hocus-pocus

hocus-pocus

noun
How to pronounce hocus-pocus (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hocus-pocus

: language or activity that is meant to trick or confuse people

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hocus-pocus

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hocus-pocus

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