Definition of hoodoo in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈho͞oˌdo͞o/


1Voodoo; witchcraft.
Example sentences
  • But while walking in a park in New Orleans a few days ago, I suddenly got the urge to drop a couple of bucks on what I thought would be a mildly amusing little black magic hoodoo voodoo palm reading.
  • This is more about hoodoo/voodoo and other forms of black magic.
  • Yeah - there's a definite difference between voodoo and hoodoo.
1.1A run of bad luck associated with a person or activity: when is this hoodoo going to end?
More example sentences
  • Manager Terry Dolan is refusing to rest on his laurels after York City's 2-1 win at Leyton Orient boosted the team's survival hopes and ended a season-long hoodoo.
  • It has taken six long months for Inverness to rid themselves of a home hoodoo but they finally did it yesterday and, in doing so, plunged Dunfermline even deeper into the relegation mire.
  • Chelsea can open up an eight-point lead over Arsenal - but first they must break a nine-year hoodoo.
1.2A person or thing that brings or causes bad luck.
Example sentences
  • I have proved a hoodoo to more than one champion.
  • He was a hoodoo to us last summer.
2chiefly North American A column or pinnacle of weathered rock: a towering sandstone hoodoo
More example sentences
  • The badlands are significant due to the plethora of fossils and dinosaur bones that have been recovered in the slowly eroding hoodoos, narrow valleys and bone-dry coulees.
  • No vehicles are permitted here and there are no visitor services, so if you go, bring water and supplies, and plan to walk a mile and a half to the hoodoos.
  • The Paiute Indians thought that these hoodoos were humanlike creatures turned to stone by an angry coyote god.

verb (hoodoos, hoodooing, hoodooed)

[with object]
1Bewitch: she’s hoodooed you
More example sentences
  • 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.
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 (sense 1 of the noun). 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.

Words that rhyme with hoodoo

kudu, voodoo

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: hoo·doo

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