Dictionary

1humbug

noun hum·bug \ˈhəm-ˌbəg\

: 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
a :  something designed to deceive and mislead
b :  a willfully false, deceptive, or insincere person
2
:  an attitude or spirit of pretense and deception
4
British :  a hard usually mint-flavored candy
hum·bug·gery \-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>.

2humbug

verb
hum·buggedhum·bug·ging

Definition of HUMBUG

transitive verb
:  deceive, hoax
intransitive verb
:  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>

First Known Use of HUMBUG

1751
HUMBUGGED Defined for Kids

humbug

noun hum·bug \ˈhəm-ˌbəg\

Definition of HUMBUG for Kids

1
:  fraud 3 <“… the Wonderful Wizard of Oz was nothing more than a humbug!” — L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz>
2
:  nonsense

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