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[juhm-boh] /ˈdʒʌm boʊ/
noun, plural jumbos.
a very large person, animal, or thing.
U.S. Nautical.
  1. a forestaysail having a boom (jumbo boom) along its foot, used especially on schooners.
  2. a sail used in place of a course on a square-rigged ship, having the form of an isosceles triangle set apex downward.
  3. a narrow triangular sail set point downward in place of a foresail on a topsail schooner.
very large:
the jumbo box of cereal.
1800-10; origin uncertain; popularized as the name of a large elephant purchased and exhibited by P.T. Barnum in 1882 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for jumbo boom


noun (pl) -bos
  1. a very large person or thing
  2. (as modifier) a jumbo box of detergent
See jumbo jet
Word Origin
C19: after the name of a famous elephant exhibited by P. T. Barnum, from Swahili jumbe chief
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 jumbo boom
"very large," 1897, Amer.Eng., in ref. to Jumbo, name of the London Zoo's huge elephant, sold Feb. 1882 to U.S. circus showman P.T. Barnum. The name is probably from slang jumbo "clumsy, unwieldy fellow" (1823), which itself is possibly from a word for "elephant" in a W.African language (cf. Kongo nzamba).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for jumbo boom



Very large; gigantic; humongous: I had a jumbo portion

[1897+; fr the London Zoo's great elephant, sold in 1882 to P T Barnum; Jumbo is a version of the word for ''elephant'' in various West African languages, for example, Kongo nzamba]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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