Definition of hocus-pocus in English:

hocus-pocus

Line breaks: hocus-pocus
Pronunciation: /həʊkəsˈpəʊkəs
 
/

noun

[mass noun]
1Meaningless talk or activity, typically designed to trick someone or conceal the truth of a situation: 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
jargon, unintelligible language, obscure language, mumbo jumbo, argle-bargle, gibberish, balderdash, claptrap, nonsense, rubbish, twaddle
informal gobbledegook, double Dutch, hokum, bull, rot, garbage, tripe
North American informal flapdoodle
informal , dated bunkum
1.1A form of words used by a person performing conjuring 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.
Synonyms
magic words, magic formula, mumbo jumbo, abracadabra, incantation, chant, invocation, charm
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.

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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