follow Dictionary.com

Your favorite word could be our Word of the Day!

humbug

[huhm-buhg] /ˈhʌmˌbʌg/
noun
1.
something intended to delude or deceive.
2.
the quality of falseness or deception.
3.
a person who is not what he or she claims or pretends to be; impostor.
4.
something devoid of sense or meaning; nonsense:
a humbug of technical jargon.
5.
British. a variety of hard mint candy.
verb (used with object), humbugged, humbugging.
6.
to impose upon by humbug or false pretense; delude; deceive.
verb (used without object), humbugged, humbugging.
7.
to practice humbug.
interjection
Origin
1730-1740
1730-40; origin uncertain
Related forms
humbugger, noun
Synonyms
1. imposition. 2. pretense, sham. 3. pretender, deceiver, charlatan, swindler, quack, confidence man. 6. cheat, swindle, trick, fool, dupe.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for humbug
  • The production of humbug has become a systematic, even industrial process.
  • The natural world is rife with humbug and fish tales, of things not being what they seem.
  • The whole thing is a huge tree killing, paper moving humbug operation.
  • Mind you this diet is not some complementary humbug, but a strictly medically supervised treatment.
  • Heraldry is mixed with haberdashery, humbug with history, and scholarly looking footnotes with simple-minded literalism.
  • To blame the weir for environmental destruction which has already occurred is political humbug.
British Dictionary definitions for humbug

humbug

/ˈhʌmˌbʌɡ/
noun
1.
a person or thing that tricks or deceives
2.
nonsense; rubbish
3.
(Brit) a hard boiled sweet, usually flavoured with peppermint and often having a striped pattern
verb -bugs, -bugging, -bugged
4.
to cheat or deceive (someone)
Derived Forms
humbugger, noun
humbuggery, noun
Word Origin
C18: of unknown origin
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for humbug
n.

1751, student slang, "trick, jest, hoax, deception," also as a verb, of unknown origin. A vogue word of the early 1750s; its origin was a subject of much whimsical speculation even then.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for humbug

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for humbug

14
18
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with humbug

Nearby words for humbug