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Definition of Abracadabra

Babylon English

word used when performing a magic trick
Abracadabra Definition from Language, Idioms & Slang Dictionaries & Glossaries
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
A mystical word or collocation of letters written as in the figure. Worn on an amulet it was supposed to ward off fever. At present the word is used chiefly in jest to denote something without meaning; jargon.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913), edited by Noah Porter. About
hEnglish - advanced version

\ab`ra*ca*dab"ra\ (&?;), n. [l. of unknown origin.] a mystical word or collocation of letters written as in the figure. worn on an amulet it was supposed to ward off fever. at present the word is used chiefly in jest to denote something without meaning; jargon.

The Devil's Dictionary

By "Abracadabra" we signify
An infinite number of things.
'Tis the answer to What? and How? and Why?
And Whence? and Whither? -- a word whereby
The Truth (with the comfort it brings)
Is open to all who grope in night,
Crying for Wisdom's holy light.
Whether the word is a verb or a noun
Is knowledge beyond my reach.
I only know that 'tis handed down.
From sage to sage,
From age to age --
An immortal part of speech!

Of an ancient man the tale is told
That he lived to be ten centuries old, In a cave on a mountain side.
(True, he finally died.)
The fame of his wisdom filled the land,
For his head was bald, and you'll understand
His beard was long and white
And his eyes uncommonly bright.

Philosophers gathered from far and near
To sit at his feet and hear and hear,
Though he never was heard
To utter a word
But "Abracadabra, abracadab",
"Abracada, abracad",
"Abraca, abrac, abra, ab!"
'Twas all he had,
'Twas all they wanted to hear, and each
Made copious notes of the mystical speech,
Which they published next --
A trickle of text
In the meadow of commentary.
Mighty big books were these,
In a number, as leaves of trees;
In learning, remarkably -- very!

He's dead,
As I said,
And the books of the sages have perished,
But his wisdom is sacredly cherished.
In "Abracadabra" it solemnly rings,
Like an ancient bell that forever swings.
O, I love to hear
That word make clear
Humanity's General Sense of Things.

Jamrach Holobom
The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce, 1911 (About)
WordNet 2.0

1. gibberish and nonsense
(hypernym) gibberish, gibber
Abracadabra Definition from Encyclopedia Dictionaries & Glossaries
English Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia
Abracadabra is an incantation used as a magic word in stage magic tricks, and historically was believed to have healing powers when inscribed on an amulet.

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Abracadabra Definition from Religion & Spirituality Dictionaries & Glossaries
Abracadabra [possibly from Celtic abra or abar god + cad holy; Blavatsky from an elaboration of the Gnostic Abrasax or Abraxas, a corruption of a Coptic or Egyptian magic formula meaning "hurt me not"] Mystical word used as a charm by the Gnostic school of Basilides. The Gnostic physician Serenus Sammonicus (2nd-3rd century) prescribed it as a remedy for agues and fevers. On amulets the word is often inscribed as a triangle with the point down, beginning with all eleven letters, below which are the first ten, and so on down to the single letter at the point. The power of any charm lies, not in the word itself, but in the hidden science connecting sounds and symbols with the potencies in nature to which they correspond. See also ABLANATHANALBA
A cabalistic word derived from the name Abraxas, a mighty Gnostic deity whose name meant "hurt me not." The word, when chanted or when its letters are arranged in an inverted pyramid and worn around the kneck as a talisman for nine days, is said to possess the magickal power to ward off illness and cure fevers.
Book of Shadows
A word from the Jewish mystical tradition of Qabala. Its root is the name of the Gnostic deity Abraxas, meaning "hurt me not". It is said to possess magickal powers, especially of protection from illness.