voo·​doo | \ ˈvü-(ˌ)dü How to pronounce voodoo (audio) \
plural voodoos

Definition of voodoo

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 or less commonly vodou \ vō-​ˈdü How to pronounce vodou (audio) \ : a religion that is derived from African polytheism and ancestor worship and is practiced chiefly in Haiti
2a : a person who deals in spells and necromancy
b(1) : a sorcerer's spell : hex
(2) : a hexed object : charm



Definition of voodoo (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or practicing voodoo voodoo rituals
2 : based on highly improbable suppositions : extremely implausible or unrealistic voodoo economics


voodooed; voodooing; voodoos

Definition of voodoo (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to bewitch by or as if by means of voodoo : hex

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Examples of voodoo in a Sentence


found a voodoo who was willing to put a hex on the man who had jilted her

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

From swing to blues, fireworks to voodoo, a flyover to a little booze, the Fourth of July celebration at the Starlight Bowl Thursday offered something for just about everyone who trekked to Burbank’s hills for the event. Andrew J. Campa, latimes.com, "Starlight Bowl offers plenty for everyone during Fourth of July celebration," 5 July 2019 Before leaving Nigeria, most swear to repay that debt during a voodoo rite. Washington Post, "A foreign mafia has come to Italy and further polarized the migration debate," 26 June 2019 While nothing beats the odd eeriness of a serial killer possessing a doll through voodoo practices, this new AI Chucky (Mark Hamill) reflects the technophobia of audiences who have already plugged into Black Mirror. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "How 'Child's Play' Builds on the Legacy of Horror Remakes," 23 June 2019 While football fans around the globe will be hoping that this will be the year Messi breaks his international voodoo, there is very, very little evidence to suggest that this squad is capable of it. SI.com, "Argentina: Not Even Lionel Messi Can Turn Around Football's Greatest Underachievers," 19 June 2019 The first zombie movie goes back to 1932, when Edward and Victor Halperin directed The White Zombie, about an evil voodoo master who turns a woman into a zombie. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "The Zombie Movies You Need To See If You Love The Walking Dead," 15 June 2019 Lynn was more forgiving of Meaux and his financial voodoo. Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle, "Empress of Gulf Coast Soul Barbara Lynn receives NEA honor," 20 June 2018 Did The Farm put some weird voodoo spell over them?? Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "9 "Riverdale" Plot Holes That Will Keep You Up at Night," 3 May 2019 Beyond the slave trade, Ogu land is also noted for the voodoo widely practiced there. Sam Olukoya, Fox News, "In Nigeria, voodoo festival shows strength of traditions," 27 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Customers who feel they’ve been overcharged, customers who talk about one-hour hold times with customer service, customers who think the explanations given for their bills is voodoo economics. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "Overbilled and overstressed: 3 Seattle City Light customers vent," 15 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'voodoo.' 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 voodoo


1850, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1880, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1880, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for voodoo


Louisiana Creole voudou, probably from Ewe vódũ tutelary deity

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Statistics for voodoo

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for voodoo

The first known use of voodoo was in 1850

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More Definitions for voodoo



English Language Learners Definition of voodoo

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a religion that is practiced chiefly in Haiti



English Language Learners Definition of voodoo (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to voodoo
chiefly US, disapproving : not at all sensible or achievable : extremely unrealistic

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More from Merriam-Webster on voodoo

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with voodoo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for voodoo

Spanish Central: Translation of voodoo

Nglish: Translation of voodoo for Spanish Speakers

Comments on voodoo

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


to form ideas or theories about something

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