voodoo

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voodoo

(voo′doo″) [Louisiana Fr. voudou, ult. fr a West African language, e.g., Fon or Ewe vodũ, spirit, deity, demon]
1. A religion that combines elements of Roman Catholicism with traditional African religion, magic, ritual, and witchcraft, primarily practiced in the coastal regions of the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean Islands, esp. Haiti.
2. One who practices this religion.
3. A charm or fetish used in this religion.
4. A colloquial, disparaging term for nonsensical, simplistic, irrational, or superstitious activities or practices, e.g., "voodoo economics" or "voodoo science."