from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A form of religious belief of African origin, practiced in some parts of the West Indies, Jamaica, and nearby tropical America, involving sorcery.
- n. An object, charm, or fetish used in the practice of this religion.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A form of folk magic, medicine or witchcraft originating in Africa and practiced in parts of the Caribbean.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Same as obi.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. (West Indies) followers of a religious system involving witchcraft and sorcery
- n. a religious belief of African origin involving witchcraft and sorcery; practiced in parts of the West Indies and tropical Americas
Black and West Indian English, of West African origin; akin to Efik ubio, anything noxious, something put in the ground to cause sickness or death, bad omen.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Origin uncertain. Apparently from a Caribbean creole, probably ultimately from a West African language. The OED points to Igbo abià ("knowledge, wisdom"), obìa ("doctor, healer"). (Wiktionary)