Definition of hocus-pocus noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˌhəʊkəs ˈpəʊkəs//
; NAmE NAmE//ˌhoʊkəs ˈpoʊkəs//
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language or behaviour that is nonsense and is intended to hide the truth from people More Like This Reduplicative words airy-fairy, argy-bargy, chit-chat, criss-cross, dilly-dally, harum-scarum, helter-skelter, higgledy-piggledy, hocus-pocus, hoity-toity, hotchpotch, hurly-burly, itty-bitty, mumbo jumbo, mishmash, nitty-gritty, ping-pong, pitter-patter, shilly-shally, teeny-weeny, tittle-tattle, touchy-feely, wishy-washySee worksheet. Word Originearly 17th cent.: from hax pax max Deus adimax, a pseudo-Latin phrase used as a magic formula by conjurors.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: hocus-pocus