Online Dictionary

hocus-pocus Explained

hocus-pocus at English => English (English Etymology) Of Explained:

1624, Hocas Pocas, common name of a magician or juggler, a sham-Latin invocation used in tricks, probably based on a perversion of the sacramental blessing from the Mass, Hoc est corpus meum "This is my body." The first to make this speculation on its origin apparently was Eng. prelate John Tillotson (1630-1694). /// "I will speak of one man ... that went about in King James his time ... who called himself, the Kings Majesties most excellent Hocus Pocus, and so was called, because that at the playing of every Trick, he used to say, Hocus pocus, tontus tabantus, vade celeriter jubeo, a dark composure of words, to blinde the eyes of the beholders, to make his Trick pass the more currantly without discovery." [Thomas Ady, "A Candle in the Dark," 1655] ///

hocus-pocus at English => English (Longman) Of Explained:

n [U] [Date: 1600-1700; Origin: hax pax max Deus adimax, a pretended Latin phrase used by people doing magic tricks]// a method or belief that you think is based on false ideas// --He thinks psychology is a load of hocus-pocus.//

hocus-pocus at English => English (Moby Thesaurus II) Of Explained:

28 Moby Thesaurus words for "hocus-pocus":
abracadabra, artifice, cheat, chicanery, con game, conjuring,
deceit, deception, duplicity, flimflam, gibberish, hanky-panky,
hoax, humbug, incantation, jiggery-pokery, jugglery, legerdemain,
magic, mischief, mumbo-jumbo, nonsense, prestidigitation,
rigmarole, sleight of hand, swindle, trick, trickery

hocus-pocus at English => English (English Thesaurus) Of Explained:

[N] (Deception): slight of hand, legerdemain, prestidigitation, magic, conjuring, conjuration, hocus-pocus, trickery, chicanery, treachery.

hocus-pocus at English => English (Oxford Advanced Learners) Of Explained:

[U] language or behaviour that is nonsense and is intended to hide the truth from people:
I still think that horoscopes are a load of hocus-pocus.

hocus-pocus at English => English (WordNet) Of Explained:

n : verbal misrepresentation intended to take advantage of you
in some way [syn: {trickery}, {slickness}, {hanky panky},
{jiggery-pokery}, {skulduggery}, {skullduggery}]
[also: {hocus-pocussing}, {hocus-pocussed}]

hocus-pocus at English (WD) Of Explained:

Inter: wikipedia » Hocus Pocus (magic)


Alternative forms

  • hocus pocus


    Dates from the 17th century when used by jugglers and magicians as a nonsense magical incantation. Compact Oxford English Dictionary. [] R:Phrase Finder » hocus-pocus|Hocus-pocus. Some believe it is a corruption of words from the Roman Catholic liturgy of the Eucharist, hoc est corpus meum, although this is disputed.



  • A phrase used as a magical incantation to bring about some change.


    Inter: trans-top » a phrase used as a magical incantation
    • Czech: Inter: t- » cs|hokus pokus|m
    • Finnish: Inter: t+ » fi|hokkuspokkus
    • French: Inter: t+ » fr|abracadabra
    • Hungarian: Inter: t- » hu|hókuszpókusz

    Inter: trans-mi » d
  • Russian: Inter: t+ » ru|фокус-покус|tr=fókus-pókus
  • Serbo-Croatian: Inter: t- » sh|хокус-покус|tr=hokus-pokus|sc=Cyrl
  • Swedish: Inter: t+ » sv|hokuspokus, Inter: t+ » sv|hokus pokus filiokus, Inter: t+ » sv|abrakadabra

  • Inter: trans-botto » m


    Inter: en-noun » -
  • A specific act of trickery or nonsense.
    1. : What kind of hocus-pocus is this?


      Inter: trans-top » act of trickery or nonsense

  • Finnish: Inter: t+ » fi|hokkuspokkus, Inter: t+ » fi|hölynpöly
  • French: Inter: t+ » fr|abracadabra|m

  • Inter: trans-mi » d
    • German: Inter: t+ » de|Hokuspokus|m
    • Hungarian: Inter: t- » hu|hókuszpókusz

    Inter: trans-botto » m


    Category: Category:English reduplications -
    Category: Category:en:Magic words -
    Translation: et » hocus-pocus
    Translation: io » hocus-pocus
    Translation: my » hocus-pocus
    Translation: pl » hocus-pocus
    Translation: ru » hocus-pocus
    Translation: te » hocus-pocus
    Translation: vi » hocus-pocus
    Translation: zh » hocus-pocus