Online Tutor Now
unnecessarily mysterious or elaborate activity or talk to cover up a deception, magnify a simple purpose, etc.
Hocus-pocus is a pseudo-Latin rhyming formula used by jugglers and magicians. It was first recorded in 1615–25.
Maybe the English are right: [writer’s] block is just a hocus-pocus covering life’s regular, humbling facts.
How, exactly, does the president’s budget propose to use the surplus to “save” Social Security? With accounting hocus-pocus.
diabolic magic or art; sorcery; witchcraft.
English diablerie is a borrowing from French diablerie “mischief,” from Old French diablerie, deablerie “an act inspired by the devil, sorcery.” French diable comes from Late Latin diabolus “the devil” (in the Vulgate and church fathers), from Greek diábolos “slanderer; enemy, Satan” (in the Septuagint), “the Devil” (in the Gospels). Diablerie entered English in the 17th century.
This tragedy, which, considering the wild times wherein it was placed, might have some foundation in truth, was larded with many legends of superstition and diablerie, so that most of the peasants of the neighbourhood, if benighted, would rather have chosen to make a considerable circuit, than pass these haunted walls.
He was, to one friend, “cometlike from some other world of diablerie, burning himself out upon our skies.”
the arrangement of bones in the skeleton or a body part.
Ossature is a borrowing from French ossature, probably modeled on French musculature. The base of ossature is the Latin noun os (stem oss-) “bone,” which comes from the Proto-Indo-European root ost- “bone.” Greek derives from the same root ostéon “bone” (as in osteology), óstrakon “potsherd” (as in ostracize), and óstreon “oyster” (the English noun comes from Greek via Old French and Latin). Ossature entered English in the 19th century.
The ossature of its wings had been like the exquisite work of some Japanese cabinet-maker …
… thus the whole vault was furnished with an ossature or skeleton of ribs which was clothed upon by filling in with with arched masonry the triangular spaces or panels between rib and rib.