Hocus-pocus is an illusion or a meaningless distraction that tricks you in some way. Some people believe in astrology, while others think horoscopes are nothing but hocus-pocus.
A car salesman might use smooth-talking hocus-pocus to distract you from the fact that you're paying way too much for your new convertible, and similarly, a magician uses hocus-pocus to draw her audience's attention away from the rabbit behind her back or the card up her sleeve. The word hocus-pocus originally came from magic shows, in fact — it's fake Latin, probably copied from the Latin Mass invocation, Hoc est corpus meum, "this is my body."
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