Definition of hoodoo in English:


Pronunciation /ˈho͞oˌdo͞o/ /ˈhuˌdu/

See synonyms for hoodoo

Translate hoodoo into Spanish


  • 1A religion practiced in parts of the Caribbean and the southern US and characterized by sorcery and spirit possession; voodoo.

    ‘ancient armies that were put to sleep by some form of hoodoo’
    • ‘a visit to a local hoodoo doctor’
    witchcraft, magic, black magic, sorcery, wizardry, devilry, voodoo, necromancy
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    1. 1.1A run of bad luck associated with a particular person, group, or activity.
      ‘the hoodoo continued on Saturday as City went down 1–0’
      • ‘many were hoping that the franchise might finally break its Oscars hoodoo with a few high profile nominations’
    2. 1.2A person or thing that brings or causes bad luck.
  • 2North American A column or pinnacle of weathered rock.

    • ‘a towering sandstone hoodoo’
    peak, needle, crag, tor, summit, top, mountaintop, crest, apex, tip, vertex
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transitive verbhoodoos, hoodooing, hoodooed

[with object]
  • 1Bewitch.

    ‘she's hoodooed you’
    • ‘He has been called upon to set aside a will because it is claimed the testator was hoodooed, and as a result changed his will.’
    • ‘The person to be hoodooed is generally made aware that the hoodoo is 'set' for him, and the terror created in his mind by this knowledge is generally sufficient to cause him to fall sick.’
    • ‘If you go somewhere and think you will be hoodooed, always carry a piece of bread in your pocket.’
    cast a spell on, put a spell on, enchant
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    1. 1.1Bring bad luck to.
      • ‘a fine player, but repeatedly hoodooed’


Late 19th century (originally US): apparently an alteration of voodoo. It originally denoted a person who practiced voodoo, hence a hidden cause of bad luck (hoodoo (sense 1 of the noun)). hoodoo (sense 2 of the noun) is apparently due to the resemblance of the rock column to a strange human form, often topped by an overhanging ‘hat’ of harder rock.