[hoh-kuh s]

verb (used with object), ho·cused, ho·cus·ing or (especially British) ho·cussed, ho·cus·sing.

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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hocus

Contemporary Examples of hocus

Historical Examples of hocus

  • And he refers his readers to his Spanish-Gipsy vocabulary for the words hoax and hocus, as a reason for such an opinion!

  • My aunt began her hocus pocus by throwing out all the cards in the pack under seven.

  • Hocus loved her best, believing her to be his own, got upon the body of Mrs. Bull.

  • Hocus pocus, gipsy words of magic, similar to the modern presto fly.

    The Slang Dictionary

    John Camden Hotten

  • Hocus fed her extravagancy (what was still more shameful) with John's own money.

British Dictionary definitions for hocus


verb -cuses, -cusing, -cused, -cuses, -cussing or -cussed (tr) rare

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