Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

obeah

[oh-bee-uh] /ˈoʊ bi ə/
noun
1.
a form of belief involving sorcery, practiced in parts of the West Indies, South America, the southern U.S., and Africa.
2.
a fetish or charm used in practicing obeah.
Also, obi.
Origin of obeah
1750-1760
1750-60; compare Gullah, Jamaican English, Guyanan English, Sranan óbia magic, charm; < a West African language, though precise source unclear; compare Twi ɔ-bayifó sorcerer (compound with -fo person), Igbo díbìà folk healer (compound with dí- expert in)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for obeah
Historical Examples
  • But the obeah, with a whining plaint, spat away his tobacco-leaf.

    Darkness and Dawn George Allan England
  • And with a formless roar of killing-rage, Stern swung on the obeah, with the rifle.

    Darkness and Dawn George Allan England
  • But already, with a chattering howl, the obeah was running forward.

    Darkness and Dawn George Allan England
  • obeah, on the other hand, kills only by poison—does not show the blood at all.

    West African studies Mary Henrietta Kingsley
  • obeah can be worked by either alone, and is not tied to the presence of the snake.

    West African studies Mary Henrietta Kingsley
  • The obeah man agreed to cure him, provided he received ten dollars for his pains.

  • The ceiba is the sacred tree of the negro, the temple of Jumbi the proper home of obeah.

    The English in the West Indies James Anthony Froude
  • Up he brought the automatic, till the bead lay fair upon the naked, muscular breast of the obeah.

    Darkness and Dawn George Allan England
  • Yet the warning echoed loudly through Madison Forest; and the obeah hesitated.

    Darkness and Dawn George Allan England
  • There, already recovered from the blow which would have killed a man ten times over, he saw the obeah snarling after him.

    Darkness and Dawn George Allan England
British Dictionary definitions for obeah

obeah

/ˈəʊbɪə/
noun
1.
another word for obi2
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for obeah
n.

"sorcery, witchcraft" among blacks in Africa and the W.Indies, 1760, from a West African word, e.g. Efik (southern Nigeria) ubio "a thing or mixture left as a charm to cause sickness or death," Twi ebayifo "witch, wizard, sorcerer."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for obeah

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for obeah

10
10
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for obeah