Definition of abracadabra in English:


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


  • A word said by conjurors when performing a magic trick.
    More 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; mumbo jumbo


[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.

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