ho·​kum | \ ˈhō-kəm How to pronounce hokum (audio) \

Definition of hokum

1 : a device used (as by showmen) to evoke a desired audience response
2 : pretentious nonsense : bunkum

Examples of hokum in a Sentence

Everyone knows his story is pure hokum. His new film is yet another piece of Hollywood hokum.
Recent Examples on the Web And, of course, Goop embraces the long-standing hokum known as homeopathy, which essentially claims ritualized dilutions of poisons can cure disease and anthropomorphic water molecules can remember how to heal you. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 2 Feb. 2022 Greekman’s feels subtly evocative without any hokum and serves uplifting food that meshes with the California growing seasons. Bill Addison, Los Angeles Times, 4 Sep. 2021 This film and those of its ilk — The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Dig being two superior examples — offer a more dignified alternative to the hokum of Nicholas Sparks, but in this case, not by much. Charles Bramesco, Vulture, 25 Aug. 2021 President Biden is in part a hostage to his own campaign mythology — the blue-collar guy from Scranton — and all the hokum that goes along with it. The Editors, National Review, 15 June 2021 Yet the American space-industrial complex is sustained by Hollywood hokum. David Beers, The New Republic, 7 Dec. 2020 Downtrodden Democrats will need to come to grips with the reality that vast swaths of the country like or, at least, accept the hokum and hatred that Trump has been peddling. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 3 Nov. 2020 This isn’t some kind of health food store hippie hokum. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, 13 Mar. 2020 The College Football Playoff is pure hokum, but at least its nonsense is hysterical at the same time. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, 13 Nov. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hokum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of hokum

1908, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hokum

probably blend of hocus-pocus and bunkum

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Cite this Entry

“Hokum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hokum. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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