hoo·​doo | \ ˈhü-(ˌ)dü How to pronounce hoodoo (audio) \
plural hoodoos

Definition of hoodoo

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a body of practices of sympathetic magic traditional especially among African Americans in the southern U.S.
2 : a natural column of rock in western North America often in fantastic form
3 : something that brings bad luck


hoodooed; hoodooing; hoodoos

Definition of hoodoo (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cast a spell on broadly : to bring bad luck to

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Other Words from hoodoo


hoodooism \ ˈhü-​(ˌ)dü-​ˌi-​zəm How to pronounce hoodooism (audio) \ noun

Examples of hoodoo in a Sentence


some economists have characterized the proposal as economic hoodoo that should be hooted down some hoodoo must be at work—I lost both sets of house keys

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

After winning his first trophy with Liverpool and breaking his major final hoodoo, the German will now be targeting Premier League success next season and dethroning Manchester City. SI.com, "Steven Gerrard and Jurgen Klopp Share Touching Embrace During Champions League Celebrations," 6 June 2019 The good news is that the Three Lions showed their fortitude and mental strength, in order to overcome both the late goal and the hoodoo over England teams at the World Cup to be able to advance. Avi Creditor, SI.com, "World Cup Quarterfinal Power Rankings: Field Narrows to Powers, Surprises," 4 July 2018 The amphitheater calls to mind a hobbit-sized Bryce Canyon bristling with colorful hoodoos full of climbing and scrambling options. Roger Naylor, azcentral, "Kid-friendly hikes around Arizona: Hit the trail with your family this summer," 28 June 2018 After finishing runners-up in both 1974 and '78, the 'Total Football' side that had been etched into the ethos of Dutch football for many years following, was unceremoniously ditched in 2010 in the hope of finally ending their hoodoo. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 4 Days to Go - When Oranje Ditched Total Football in 2010 to Near-Perfection," 10 June 2018 His ascent from three uneven seasons after signing puts him at least on a trajectory to break a 10-year hoodoo for the organization and overcome a stigma that goes far beyond the Warehouse. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "As draft approaches, breakout Orioles prospect Ryan McKenna becomes rare prep outfielder to emerge," 2 June 2018 There was also the case of the Boy Scout leaders knocking over a hoodoo that dated back to the Jurassic Period (145 to 170 million years ago) in Utah’s Goblin Valley State Park. Anna Callaghan, Outside Online, "The Social-Media Sleuths Hunting Down Moose Harassers," 21 May 2018 Manchester United's 3-2 win over Crystal Palace on Monday night broke somewhat of a hoodoo for manager Jose Mourinho. SI.com, "Manchester United's Crystal Palace Comeback Was a First For Jose Mourinho in the Premier League," 6 Mar. 2018 Blame it solely on the Big Ten tournament hoodoo that has plagued Indiana virtually since the competition’s inception. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Flawed IU basketball team has punctuation mark put on season's end," 2 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Real Madrid finally broke their Signal Iduna Park hoodoo at the seventh time of asking with a 3-1 over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday evening. SI.com, "Bale and Ronaldo Silence Borussia Dortmund in Germany," 26 Sep. 2017

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

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First Known Use of hoodoo


1875, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1886, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hoodoo


perhaps alteration of voodoo

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Statistics for hoodoo

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for hoodoo

The first known use of hoodoo was in 1875

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hoodoo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hoodoo

Comments on hoodoo

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something desired as essential

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