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[hoh-kuh s] /ˈhoʊ kəs/
verb (used with object), hocused, hocusing or (especially British) hocussed, hocussing.
to play a trick on; hoax; cheat.
to stupefy with drugged liquor.
to drug (liquor).
Origin of hocus
First recorded in 1665-75; short for hocus-pocus Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hocus
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This has been hocus's constant language, and I am sure he has had obligations enough to us to have acted another part.

    The History of John Bull John Arbuthnot
  • hocus loved her best, believing her to be his own, got upon the body of Mrs. Bull.

    The History of John Bull John Arbuthnot
  • hocus pocus” appears to have been a mock Latin expression first used as the name of a juggler or conjurer.

  • In his most impressive style he undertook to administer a solemn rebuke for the use of such words as jockey and hocus.

    Lord Randolph Churchill Winston Spencer Churchill
  • The arguments used by hocus and the rest of the guardians had hitherto proved insufficient.

    The History of John Bull John Arbuthnot
  • hocus pocus, gipsy words of magic, similar to the modern presto fly.

    The Slang Dictionary John Camden Hotten
  • A good swinging sum of John's readiest cash went towards building of hocus's country house.

    The History of John Bull John Arbuthnot
  • My aunt began her hocus pocus by throwing out all the cards in the pack under seven.

British Dictionary definitions for hocus


verb (transitive) (rare) -cuses, -cusing, -cused, -cuses, -cussing, -cussed
to take in; trick
to stupefy, esp with a drug
to add a drug to (a drink)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for hocus



To falsify or misrepresent; also, to adulterate: hocus the presentation/ hocus the punch

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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