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13 Essential Literary Terms

obeah

[oh-bee-uh] /ˈoʊ bi ə/
noun
1.
a form of belief involving sorcery, practiced in parts of the West Indies, South America, the southern U.S., and Africa.
2.
a fetish or charm used in practicing obeah.
Also, obi.
Origin
1750-1760
1750-60; compare Gullah, Jamaican English, Guyanan English, Sranan óbia magic, charm; < a West African language, though precise source unclear; compare Twi ɔ-bayifó sorcerer (compound with -fo person), Igbo díbìà folk healer (compound with dí- expert in)
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for obeah
  • And you got to find out if anybody in she family ever practice obeah.
British Dictionary definitions for obeah

obeah

/ˈəʊbɪə/
noun
1.
another word for obi2

obi2

/ˈəʊbɪ/
noun (pl) obis, obeahs
1.
a kind of witchcraft originating in Africa and practised by some West Indians
2.
a charm or amulet used in this
Derived Forms
obiism, noun
Word Origin
of West African origin; compare Edo obi poison
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for obeah
n.

"sorcery, witchcraft" among blacks in Africa and the W.Indies, 1760, from a West African word, e.g. Efik (southern Nigeria) ubio "a thing or mixture left as a charm to cause sickness or death," Twi ebayifo "witch, wizard, sorcerer."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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10
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