hocus-pocus

[ hoh-kuhs-poh-kuhs ]
/ ˈhoʊ kəsˈpoʊ kəs /

noun

a meaningless chant or expression used in conjuring or incantation.
a juggler's trick; sleight of hand.
trickery; deception.
unnecessarily mysterious or elaborate activity or talk to cover up a deception, magnify a simple purpose, etc.

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

to play tricks on or with.

verb (used without object), ho·cus-po·cused, ho·cus-po·cus·ing or (especially British) ho·cus-po·cussed, ho·cus-po·cus·sing.

to perform tricks; practice trickery or deception.

QUIZZES

CHALLENGE YOURSELF WITH THIS MIDDLE SCHOOL PART OF SPEECH QUIZ!

How well do you know your adjectives from your adverbs? Your preposition from your pronouns? Your interjections from your conjunctions? Let’s put your knowledge of parts of speech to the text! Note: Many of the following questions will ask you to identify the parts of speech “in order.” That means the first word in all capital letters will correspond to the first option in an answer, and so on.
Question 1 of 10
In order, what parts of speech are the words in all capital letters? Alisa was VERY tired, SO she decided to go to bed.

Origin of hocus-pocus

First recorded in 1615–25; pseudo-Latin rhyming formula used by jugglers and magicians

Words nearby hocus-pocus

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for hocus-pocus

British Dictionary definitions for hocus-pocus

hocus-pocus
/ (ˈhəʊkəsˈpəʊkəs) /

noun

trickery or chicanery
mystifying jargon
an incantation used by conjurors or magicians when performing tricks
conjuring skill or practice

verb -cuses, -cusing, -cused, -cuses, -cussing or -cussed

to deceive or trick (someone)

Word Origin for hocus-pocus

C17: perhaps a dog-Latin formation invented by jugglers
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