a form of belief involving sorcery, practiced in parts of the West Indies, South America, the southern U.S., and Africa.
a fetish or charm used in practicing obeah.

Nearby words

  1. obduction,
  2. obduracy,
  3. obdurate,
  4. obduration,
  5. obe,
  6. obeche,
  7. obedience,
  8. obedience training,
  9. obedience trial,
  10. obedient

Also obi.

Origin of obeah

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for obeah

British Dictionary definitions for obeah



another word for obi 2
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

Word Origin and History for obeah



"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