Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Magic healing and control, especially in African-based folk medicine in the United States and the Caribbean. Also called conjure.
  • n. A practitioner of hoodoo.
  • n. Voodoo.
  • n. Bad luck.
  • n. One that brings bad luck.
  • n. Geology A column of eccentrically shaped rock, produced by differential weathering.
  • transitive v. To practice hoodoo on; affect with a charm or curse.
  • transitive v. To bring bad luck to.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. African traditional folk magic.
  • n. A tall thin spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of arid basins and badlands.
  • n. Something or someone believed to bring bad luck.
  • v. To bring bad luck or misfortune, to jinx.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who causes bad luck.
  • n. Same as voodoo.
  • n. Bad luck.
  • n. A natural rock pile or pinnacle of fantastic shape.
  • transitive v. To be a hoodoo to; to bring bad luck to by occult influence; to bewitch.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Same as voodoo.
  • To bring or cause bad luck to, as a person or an enterprise.
  • n. Same as voodoo.
  • n. [From the verb.] A bewitchment; an occult cause of bad luck; hence, a person supposed to bring bad luck: opposed to mascot.
  • n. A name given in the northwestern United States to certain grotesque columns, the products of volcanic action and erosion, left standing on the slopes of mountains and in deep gulches.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. bring bad luck; be a source of misfortune
  • n. (geology) a column of weathered and unusually shaped rock
  • n. a charm superstitiously believed to embody magical powers
  • n. a practitioner of voodoo
  • n. something believed to bring bad luck

Etymologies

Of West African origin, possibly from voodoo.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Possibly an alteration of voodoo or from Hausa, hu'du'ba/hu3'du3'ba1 ("to arouse resentment"). In English, meaning altered to “bring bad luck”, then applied to things thought to bring bad luck, including the thin spires of rock now called hoodoos. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • LOL A hoodoo is a swamp critter thatll eatcha up especially at night in the deep dark swamp!!

    An 18-Year Bear Hunt

  • "The name hoodoo comes from the word voodoo and was given to these geological formations by the Europeans," notes a sign on one of the trails.

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  • How Lucas responds could go a long way towards determining if Liverpool finally break that title hoodoo, especially since

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  • So, when Superman commanded everyone to resist hypnotic suggestions, he unwittingly undid his own hypnotic hoodoo, which is why Lana didn't see Superman as Clark, even when wearing Clark's get-up.

    Archive 2004-02-29

  • They say it has what you Americans call a hoodoo on it.

    Local Colour

  • This would have been the case if, as you suppose, the hoodoo were a myth begotten of a series of fortuitous events.

    The Hoodoo of the Minnietta

  • I actually DO know some voodoo and hoodoo, which is terrifying.

    Girls Write Out

  • I also do a lot of hoodoo, which is not Wiccan at all.

    Express Milwaukee

  • They believed him to be some player in their local drama, some kind of hoodoo hero.

    The Chronicles of Riddick

  • They are very superstitious, and to admit visitors on Monday would 'hoodoo' the business for the rest of the week.

    Fifteen Years with the Outcast

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