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


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

Of West African origin, possibly from voodoo.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.


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