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

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 Birthplace of the zombie and voodoo, the Caribbean is no stranger to the supernatural, and Clare’s uncanny experiences feel right at home there. Randy Rosenthal, The Seattle Times, "A grieving widow stalks her dead husband through the streets of Havana," 2 Aug. 2018 The design team adds pizazz, down to candles and individual voodoo dolls. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "The High-Tech Horror Show: How the Unreal Haunted Houses at Universal Orlando Are Built," 27 Sep. 2018 Stabbing a voodoo doll representing your supervisor with pins can be cathartic. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Here are your 2018 Ig Nobel Prize winners," 13 Sep. 2018 The Miniaturist, a three-part series commissioned by the BBC about a (real) Dutch girl married off to a wealthy merchant, her (real) dollhouse, and some (fictionalized) voodoo elements. Matteo Montanari, Allure, "How Anya Taylor-Joy Translated a Childhood Fascination With Makeup Into a Successful Acting Career," 28 Aug. 2018 Does Adora think Camille is a voodoo doll or something? Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Pointed Observations About Sharp Objects Episode 4," 30 July 2018 For that, there's Jericho Drumm, a Haitian hero ensconced in New Orleans voodoo and all sorts of black magic. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "What's after 'Avengers 4'? Our superhero wish list for Marvel's next decade," 15 May 2018 Police say Thomas accused Dasalla of cheating on him, using voodoo on him, and arranging for a sniper to kill him, according to charging papers. Sara Jean Green, The Seattle Times, "Police: Suspect in Auburn woman’s killing claims she was using voodoo on him," 3 July 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

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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).


a shady place in a garden or forest

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