Dates from the 17th century when used by jugglers and magicians as a nonsense magical incantation. Some believe it is a corruption of words from the Roman Catholic liturgy of the Eucharist, hoc est enim corpus meum, although this is disputed.
- A phrase used as a magical incantation to bring about some change.
- (uncountable) Trickery or nonsense.
- What kind of hocus-pocus is this?
- (obsolete, countable) A conjurer.
- (obsolete, countable) A conjurer's trick.