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abracadabra Line breaks: abra|ca¦dabra
Pronunciation: /ˌabrəkəˈdabrə/

Definition of abracadabra in English:


A word said by conjurors when performing a magic trick.
Example sentences
  • The fairy moved her magic stick and - abracadabra!
  • Charisma, love and magic and abracadabra, Gemma's not on booze, Ahmed is polite to his car maintenance teacher and Wayne has left his knife at home.
  • A person who is unaware of the phenomenon of magnetism could be fooled by a magician who presents lodestone as a ‘magic rock,’ perhaps as a formerly ordinary rock made magical by saying the word abracadabra.
hocus-pocus, open sesame;


[mass noun] informal Back to top  
Language used to give the impression of arcane knowledge or power: I get so fed up with all the mumbo jumbo and abracadabra
More example sentences
  • Waitrose wielded its article like a magic wand, and with a little abracadabra, hey presto!
  • The abracadabra of war against terrorism found support from the BJP government.
  • Why, then, has the pseudo-skeptical pseudo-scientist who so pusillanimously shied away from revealing his name posted the quoted abracadabra as a supposed ‘review’ of my book?


Late 17th century (as a mystical word engraved and used as a charm to ward off illness): from Latin, first recorded in a 2nd-century poem by Q. Serenus Sammonicus, from a Greek base.

  • These days abracadabra is just a fun word said by magicians as they do a trick, but formerly it was much more serious—a magic word that was supposed to be a charm against fever and was often engraved on an amulet worn around the neck. Abracadabra was written so that it formed a triangle, beginning with ‘A’ on the first line, ‘AB’ on the second, and so on. It ultimately goes back to ancient times, first recorded in a Latin poem of the 2nd century ad. See also presto at prestige

Words that rhyme with abracadabra

Definition of abracadabra in:
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