Definition of hocus-pocus in English:

hocus-pocus

Syllabification: ho·cus-po·cus
Pronunciation: /ˌhōkəsˈpōkəs
 
/

noun

1Meaningless talk or activity, often designed to draw attention away from and disguise what is actually happening: some people still view psychology as a lot of hocus-pocus
More example sentences
  • And no amount of organic industry hocus-pocus can make that truth disappear.
  • His bill not only includes some $400 million a year in direct subsidies, but it also attempts to bamboozle us with linguistic hocus-pocus, simply defining away the industry's environmental ugliness.
  • He never offers specifics; it's all hocus-pocus.
Synonyms
1.1A form of words often used by a person performing magic tricks.
More example sentences
  • ‘Maybe you'd prefer abracadabra hocus-pocus,’ said Madi nastily, and the room was filled with pretty multicoloured sparkles which eventually faded away.
  • The power of magick is not just hocus-pocus, a wiggle of a rat, and a curse with a bat.
  • Up to that point it was all potions and hocus-pocus.
1.2US Deception; trickery.
More example sentences
  • Our most beloved hocus-pocus of all is the idea that economic growth will rescue us from all our troubles - but last fall the economy grew 8 percent without creating any new jobs to speak of.
  • There is no hocus-pocus, no aggressive posturing or screaming for effect.
  • As I've already said, there are lots of people who are sceptical about psychics, and think that's it's just hocus-pocus.
Synonyms
magic, sleight of hand, conjuring, witchcraft, wizardry, sorcery;
deception, sham, devilry, trickery
informal scam

Origin

early 17th century: from hax pax max Deus adimax, a pseudo-Latin phrase used as a magic formula by conjurors.

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