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[moh-joh] /ˈmoʊ dʒoʊ/
noun, plural mojos, mojoes.
the art or practice of casting magic spells; magic; voodoo.
an object, as an amulet or charm, that is believed to carry a magic spell.
Origin of mojo
1925-30, Americanism; compare Gullah moco witchcraft, magic, probably akin to Fulani moco'o medicine man (c represents voiced palatal stop) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mojo
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He would often call his sisters my children (mojo dzieci), out of tenderness, and add some playful affectionate expressions.

    Frederic Chopin, v. 1 (of 2) Moritz Karasowski
  • If you want the steak a la espanola, it should be fried instead of broiled, and when well done each piece surmounted by a mojo.

    Breakfasts and Teas Paul Pierce
  • The mojo is a little mound consisting of onions and green peppers chopped very fine, and lemon juice added to the gravy.

    Breakfasts and Teas Paul Pierce
British Dictionary definitions for mojo


noun (US, slang) (pl) mojos, mojoes
  1. an amulet, charm, or magic spell
  2. (as modifier): ancient mojo spells
the art of casting magic spells
uncanny personal power or influence
Word Origin
C20: of W African origin
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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Contemporary definitions for mojo

a Cuban seasoning of garlic, olive oil, and sour (Seville) oranges used as a dip, marinade, or sauce

Word Origin

Span. mojar 'make wet'

Usage Note

cooking's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for mojo

"magic," 1920s, probably of Creole origin, cf. Gullah moco "witchcraft," Fula moco'o "medicine man."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for mojo

mojo 1


  1. A charm or amulet worn against evil; hence power, luck, effectiveness, etc: When you got the mojo, brother, when you're on the inside, the world is fantastic/ gets his mojo going for conventions and elections/ The office bears a sort of superstitious, bad-mojo stamp
  2. Power; charisma: her mojo gets her into a lot of high places
  3. Sex appeal; also, one's sex drive: He had his mojo going at the party

[1920s+ Black; origin unknown; probably fr an African language]

mojo 2


Any narcotic, esp morphine

[1935+ Narcotics; perhaps fr Spanish mojar, ''celebrate by drinking'']

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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