voo·doo | \ ˈvü-(ˌ)dü \
plural voodoos

Definition of voodoo 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 or less commonly vodou \vō-ˈdü \ : 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

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

By Episode 3, the series' New Orleans-ness increases significantly with a scene involving a voodoo ritual as well as Ty's involvement in the Mardi Gras Indian tradition. Mike Scott, NOLA.com, "With 'Cloak & Dagger,' New Orleans gets Marvel superheroes to call its own," 1 June 2018 There is even a Bush chew toy for dogs whose owners are presumably Democrats, along with stress balls and voodoo dolls from the late '00s when anti-Bush sentiment ran high. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Happy birthday to George W. Bush, the most doll-friendly president," 6 July 2018 On average, both groups used the same number of pins to stab at a voodoo doll on a screen. Ian Haydon, Philly.com, "Could a therapy for brain damage also decrease violent impulses?," 2 July 2018 There was no significant difference between the two groups in the voodoo-doll-like test measuring behavioral aggression. Amy Ellis Nutt, Washington Post, "Zapping the brain appears to decrease aggressive intentions, new study says," 2 July 2018 Eldridge, a native Louisianan, perfectly captures the voodoo, gris-gris pouches, and even Mardi Gras floats in Evangeline of the Bayou, her exciting, fun, and glorious debut novel. The Christian Science Monitor, "4 delightful new books for middle-grade readers," 7 June 2018 Long a popular horror movie trope, voodoo is an Afro-Caribbean religion that originated in Haiti but is practiced in many countries in the Western Hemisphere. Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post, "A child was taken to a voodoo practitioner for discipline. Police say she will be permanently disfigured.," 4 Feb. 2018 There were other victims of the violence that accompanied cholera, too: by one account, more than forty voodoo priests were killed by mobs who believed them to be responsible for spreading the disease. Longreads, "Where Have You Hidden the Cholera?," 5 Apr. 2018 Like the voodoo practitioners Zora Neale Hurston met in Haiti, Lawson has the rare capacity of being able to take an everyday domestic object and connect it to the spiritual realm. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "Deana Lawson’s Kingdom of Restored Glory," 8 Jan. 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

20 Sep 2018

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

: not at all sensible or achievable : extremely unrealistic

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Comments on voodoo

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an open space surrounded by woods

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