Definition of woo-woo
Words nearby woo-woo
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What else does woo-woo mean?
Where does woo-woo come from?
Woo-woo is first recorded in the 1980s, used to mock beliefs associated with the likes of New Age culture.
The term may have originated as an imitation of the sound of the theremin in horror and sci-fi films and TV, or of the spooky noises associated with ghosts and the supernatural.
Although woo-woo is usually considered derogatory, some alternative medicine practitioners, such as Deepak Chopra, have used the term themselves.
How is woo-woo used in real life?
As noted, some in the spiritualist or alternative medicine communities have taken up the label woo-woo, including U.K.-based spiritual teacher and podcaster Vix Maxwell (who goes by the moniker New Age Hipster). She, for instance, offers Woo Woo 101 courses for beginners at her Woo Woo School.
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Skeptics, however, typically use woo-woo to make fun of or dismiss (sometimes very harmful) pseudoscientific wellness beliefs and their practitioners. National Geographic Traveler even declared Sedona, Arizona to be the “Capital of Woo-Woo” in a 2010 magazine article.
Huge difference. ‘Adrenal failure’ is a legitimate medical condition in which, for whatever reason, the adrenal glands don’t produce enough hormone for the body. Can be life-threatening.
‘Adrenal fatigue’ is woo-woo from people who want to steal from you. https://t.co/oHBuop7LZd
— Alastair ‘Wash Your Hands’ McAlpine (@AlastairMcA30) October 19, 2018
More examples of woo-woo:
“I’ve seen two posts about being an empath on Facebook today. Everyone ready for a new, woo-woo buzz word?”
—@tomorrow_kelly, October 2018
“I don’t want to get too woo-woo about the whole thing, but there is kind of a spiritualism or mysticism with some kinds of fly fishing, especially when you progress through the beginning, intermediate and advanced stages”
—Tom Morgan quoted by Chet Layman, MTN News, October 2018
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
How to use woo-woo in a sentence
One Spinal Solutions sales representative said he suspected Williams was using perks to woo surgeons.
Democrats set out to woo a national network of extremely wealthy donors who could support the new breakneck fundraising pace.Time is Money: How to Fix Outrageous Political Spending|Jim Arkedis|November 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST
At one point, John Woo was circling to direct it, but then the big divorce happened with Miramax and Disney, and it went away.Kevin Smith's Marijuanaissance: On 'Tusk,' 'Falling Out' with Ben Affleck, and 20 Years of 'Clerks'|Marlow Stern|September 9, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Been dying to see that powerful sexual masochist woo and whip that mousy college student?The ‘50 Shades of Grey’ Trailer Is Pretty Ridiculous, Right?|Kevin Fallon|July 24, 2014|DAILY BEAST
David, the consummate suitor, naturally pulled out all the stops to woo his lady love.Victoria and David Beckham Celebrate Their 15th Wedding Anniversary|Erin Cunningham|July 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Who wants to peruse fictitious adventures, when railroads and steamboats woo him to adventures of his own?
She was quite wickedly indifferent to consequences, and was inspired to woo the fickle goddess of popularity.Ancestors|Gertrude Atherton
It was in contrast to these officials that he painted the ideal times of Kings Wan and Woo.Beacon Lights of History, Volume I|John Lord
Many suitors came from far to woo her, and brought presents innumerable of corn, skins, and cattle to lay at her feet.Ancient Faiths And Modern|Thomas Inman
My long lithe lily, my languid lily, My lank limp lily-love, how shall I win— Woo thee to wink at me?The Book of Humorous Verse|Various