Definition of voodoo in US English:

voodoo

nounPlural voodoos

  • 1A black religious cult practiced in the Caribbean and the southern US, combining elements of Roman Catholic ritual with traditional African magical and religious rites, and characterized by sorcery and spirit possession.

    • ‘To boost business the team developed new product lines, and discovered an independent design team in Thailand that employs traditional skills to create handmade voodoo dolls.’
    • ‘African and Caribbean slaves combined Christianity and voodoo; whites traded in coffin spoons, pored over dream books, said the Lord's Prayer backward to ward off rain.’
    • ‘When people hear the word ‘mystic’, what immediately comes to mind is quackery, voodoo, black magic and the like.’
    • ‘Before that, zombie films amounted to cheesy 1930s-inspired movies about voodoo cults.’
    • ‘While some tourists may think it is thrilling to shop at a voodoo supply store or to visit the tomb of Marie Laveau, those same people might not want to sleep in a house that was haunted by voodoo spirits.’
    • ‘Advocates say voodoo is a legitimate African-based religion that has been unfairly maligned in movies and popular culture.’
    • ‘These beliefs in establishing an actual connection with the world beyond death are closer to the beliefs of African-based religions such as voodoo than to those of Christianity.’
    • ‘Haiti has just recognized voodoo as an official religion.’
    • ‘Followers of spirit worship and voodoo, which was introduced into the country by Haitian immigrants, are thought to number about 60,000.’
    • ‘But it also plays with core elements of the Haitian voodoo tradition, of Caribbean magic, and of African rituals as well.’
    • ‘Two autobiographical pieces from that time interpreted the illness through voodoo imagery and, he believes, produced a cure.’
    • ‘While the poems work as dramatic monologues in their own right, they are also metaphors for the human search for faith and truth, in art, religion and, yes, even voodoo dolls.’
    • ‘Beyond the evil, pin-covered voodoo dolls and scary zombies of clichéd movie lore lies the complex tapestry of real-life Haitian Vodoun or Voodoo.’
    • ‘An expert on African ritual practices who has been advising the police on the case said that it might be linked to West African voodoo.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, most of what a person learns of her in the touristy parts of the French Quarter are myths, twisted truths and lies - as is often the case with most things voodoo.’
    • ‘Others looked to traditions that survived to the present day: to African animism, to Santeria and voodoo, to American Indian religions, even to Hinduism.’
    • ‘According to widespread Haitian beliefs, voodoo sorcerers would administer a ‘magic powder’ to their victim.’
    • ‘As a religion, voodoo was indeed a critical force against the external authority of French colonial and American imperial powers.’
    • ‘The hundreds of spirits in the voodoo pantheon invest their power in both African imagery and in corresponding identities, including Catholic saints.’
    • ‘The West African and trans-Caribbean influences in the South are best seen in spiritual ceremonies that evoke elements from voodoo rituals.’
    1. 1.1 A person skilled in voodoo.

verbvoodooed, voodooing, voodoos

[with object]
  • Affect (someone) by the practice of voodoo.

    • ‘‘So let me get this straight,’ I said through hot tears, ‘you've been… voodooing the people around you, to get your way.’’

Origin

Early 19th century: from Louisiana French, from Kwa vodũ.

Pronunciation

voodoo

/ˈvuˌdu//ˈvo͞oˌdo͞o/