n. pl. voo·doos
1. A religion of West African origin practiced chiefly in Haiti and other Caribbean countries, based on animism, magic, and elements of Roman Catholic ritual, and characterized by belief in a supreme God and a large pantheon of local and tutelary deities, deified ancestors, and saints, who communicate with believers in dreams, trances, and ritual possessions. Also called vodoun.
2. A practitioner, priest, or priestess of voodoo.
3. Deceptive or delusive nonsense.
tr.v. voo·dooed, voo·doo·ing, voo·doos
To place under the influence of a spell or curse; bewitch.
1. Of or relating to the beliefs or practices of voodoo.
2. Based on unrealistic or delusive assumptions: voodoo economics.
[Louisiana French voudou, from Ewe vodu and Fon vodun.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.