mumbo jumbo


mum·​bo jum·​bo ˌməm-bō-ˈjəm-(ˌ)bō How to pronounce mumbo jumbo (audio)
: an object of superstitious homage and fear
: a complicated often ritualistic observance with elaborate trappings
: complicated activity or language usually intended to obscure and confuse
: unnecessarily involved and incomprehensible language : gibberish
: language, behavior, or beliefs based on superstition

Examples of mumbo jumbo in a Sentence

We were confused by all the legal mumbo jumbo. His explanation was just a lot of mumbo jumbo.
Recent Examples on the Web That's marketing mumbo jumbo just like Apple's Retina display, but this new OLED purportedly offers a 40 percent higher peak brightness than the Pixel 7A—up to 2,000 nits (1,400 nits with HDR). Julian Chokkattu, WIRED, 7 May 2024 Part of the challenge navigating this thread is discerning what’s actually material and what’s just performative mumbo jumbo. Vulture, 25 Jan. 2024 But whatever all-for-one, the-strength-of-the-wolf-is-the-pack mumbo jumbo that has held the Pac-12 together for the past year now feels painfully trite. Bill Oram, oregonlive, 27 July 2023 The techie in me had some serious questions about the dialogue involving The Entity’s source code; he was overruled by the part of me that loves when movie dialogue devolves into scientific mumbo jumbo. Odie Henderson,, 10 July 2023 Before getting down to business in Spain, Amorth is dressed down by a sniveling young Cardinal (Ryan O’Grady) who places little stock in supernatural mumbo jumbo. Chris Vognar, Rolling Stone, 15 Apr. 2023 Ivanka and Melania Trump should not be associated with any of that legal mumbo jumbo going on with the former president. Kathleen Walsh, Glamour, 30 Mar. 2023 To help, not to skip, through legal mumbo jumbo. Adrienne Gaffney, ELLE, 20 Sep. 2022 No need for fancy policy talk or corporate regulatory mumbo jumbo. Quartz Staff, Quartz, 28 Feb. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mumbo jumbo.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Mumbo Jumbo, a masked figure among Mandingo peoples of western Africa

First Known Use

1738, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of mumbo jumbo was in 1738

Dictionary Entries Near mumbo jumbo

Cite this Entry

“Mumbo jumbo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

mumbo jumbo

mum·​bo jum·​bo ˌməm-bō-ˈjəm-bō How to pronounce mumbo jumbo (audio)
: a complicated ceremony
: confusing or meaningless talk or activity
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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