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Abracadabra

[a-brə-kə-DAB-rə]

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Latin, late 17th century

1.

(exclamation) A word said by magicians when performing a magic trick.

2.

The implausibly easy achievement of difficult feats.

Examples of Abracadabra in a sentence

"The 'abracadabra!' was accompanied by a quick puff of smoke from the wand."

"It seems like a lot of work, but with a little abracadabra we'll get this garage cleaned out in an afternoon."

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illustration Abracadabra

About Abracadabra

When a child learns their first magic trick, they’re taught to shout “abracadabra!” at the big reveal. But this word isn’t only used as a magical exclamation. It’s also a handy little term to describe difficult feats that appear easy. “Oh, it’s just a bit of abracadabra!”

Did you Know?

If you have a fever, why not try abracadabra? Second-century Roman author Quintus Serenus Sammonicus gave instructions for an amulet used to ward off fever. He prescribed to write the word abracadabra repeatedly on a piece of papyrus, dropping off the last letter each time. When abracadabra disappeared, so would the fever. Or maybe just try aspirin.

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