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

Noun 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 Manchester United's penalty hoodoo appears to be over. SI.com, "Fantasy Premier League: The 10 Players Who Scooped Man of the Match in Gameweek 5," 18 Sep. 2019 The crash happened near a highway rest stop a few miles from Bryce Canyon, known for intricately shaped red-rock spires called hoodoos. San Diego Union-Tribune, "4 die after bus with Chinese tourists crashes in Utah," 20 Sep. 2019 During the Cretaceous period, which ended 65 million years ago, this region looked strikingly different from the arid steppes and hoodoos that visitors see today. George W. Stone, National Geographic, "Dinosaurs to gladiators: 10 World Heritage trips for families," 16 Aug. 2019 When Eduardo is abruptly killed, Lili calls on some ancient Caribbean hoodoo to bring him back. Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Nicolas Cage has ‘A Score to Settle’; plus ‘The Operative’ and more," 1 Aug. 2019 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 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


1870, 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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Time Traveler for hoodoo

Time Traveler

The first known use of hoodoo was in 1870

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Cite this Entry

“Hoodoo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hoodoo. Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hoodoo

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hoodoo

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