abracadabra

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

English[edit]

Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Etymology[edit]

From Late Latin abracadabra, a word used in magical writings, of uncertain origin. Relationships have been suggested with Abraxas (a Gnostic deity), and with various Aramaic or Hebrew terms (עַבְדָא כְּדַ ברָא, avda ked vara; “what was said has been done”; עבראכדברא, avra kedavra; “what has said has come to pass”; ארבע-אחד-ארבע when it is read from right to left [1]), but there is little supporting evidence.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

abracadabra (plural abracadabras)

  1. A use of the mystical term ‘abracadabra’, supposed to work as part of a healing charm or a magical spell; any spell or incantation making use of the word. [from 16th c.]
    • 2012, Georgina Turner, The Guardian, 28 Aug 2012:
      With a quiet bank holiday afternoon to fill, the Mill yesterday dug out the old magic kit, brushed the cobwebs off its top hat and practiced a few abracadabras.
  2. Mumbo-jumbo; obscure language or technicalities; jargon. [from 19th c.]
    I don’t know all the theoretical abracadabra about how it works, I’m only its pilot.
    • 1971, Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, Folio Society 2012, p. 335:
      Astrology was not specifically banned in the statutes against witchcraft, but so long as its technicalities remained abracadabra to the lay public there was always a risk that the practitioner might find himself arrested for sorcery.

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Interjection[edit]

abracadabra

  1. Used to indicate that a magic trick or other illusion has been performed. [from 19th c.]

Translations[edit]


French[edit]

Interjection[edit]

abracadabra

  1. abracadabra

Derived terms[edit]

Noun[edit]

abracadabra m (plural abracadabras)

  1. An unspecified magical formula.
  2. (historical) A mystical word from kabbalism.

External links[edit]


Portuguese[edit]

Interjection[edit]

abracadabra

  1. abracadabra (used to indicate that a magic trick or other illusion has been performed)