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1

humbug

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noun hum·bug \ˈhəm-ˌbəg\

Simple Definition of humbug

  • : language or behavior that is false or meant to deceive people

  • : someone or something that is not honest or true

  • : a hard peppermint candy

Full Definition of humbug

  1. 1 a :  something designed to deceive and mislead b :  a willfully false, deceptive, or insincere person

  2. 2 :  an attitude or spirit of pretense and deception

  3. 3 :  nonsense, drivel

  4. 4 British :  a hard usually mint-flavored candy

hum·bug·gery play \-ˌbə-g(ə-)rē\ noun

Examples of humbug

  1. <tests showed that the old map of America was a cleverly made humbug>

  2. <those UFO stories are a lot of humbug>



Origin of humbug

origin unknown


First Known Use: 1750

Synonym Discussion of humbug

imposture, fraud, sham, fake, humbug, counterfeit mean a thing made to seem other than it is. imposture applies to any situation in which a spurious object or performance is passed off as genuine <their claim of environmental concern is an imposture>. fraud usually implies a deliberate perversion of the truth <the diary was exposed as a fraud>. sham applies to fraudulent imitation of a real thing or action <condemned the election as a sham>. fake implies an imitation of or substitution for the genuine but does not necessarily imply dishonesty <these jewels are fakes; the real ones are in the vault>. humbug suggests elaborate pretense usually so flagrant as to be transparent <creating publicity by foisting humbugs on a gullible public>. counterfeit applies especially to the close imitation of something valuable <20-dollar bills that were counterfeits>.

2

humbug

verb hum·bug

Definition of humbug

hum·buggedhum·bug·ging

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  deceive, hoax

  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  to engage in a hoax or deception



Examples of humbug

  1. <humbugged into believing that the bones were the skeleton of a prehistoric human being>



1751

First Known Use of humbug

1751


HUMBUG Defined for Kids

humbug

play
noun hum·bug \ˈhəm-ˌbəg\

Definition of humbug

  1. 1 :  fraud 3 <“… the Wonderful Wizard of Oz was nothing more than a humbug!” — L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz>

  2. 2 :  nonsense





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