mumbo jumbo

noun
mum·​bo jum·​bo | \ˌməm-bō-ˈjəm-(ˌ)bō \

Definition of mumbo jumbo 

1 : an object of superstitious homage and fear

2a : a complicated often ritualistic observance with elaborate trappings

b : complicated activity or language usually intended to obscure and confuse

3 : unnecessarily involved and incomprehensible language : gibberish

4 : language, behavior, or beliefs based on superstition

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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

John, however, a mechanical engineer working toward his doctorate in environmental engineering was just the guy to sort through the mechanical mumbo jumbo. Marni Jameson, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Next generation of homeowners go for greener yard tools," 6 July 2018 None of the steps along the way require readers to buy into sci-fi mumbo jumbo or to suspend disbelief. Kristen Bellstrom, Fortune, "Wimbledon, Scarlett Johansson, House of Cards: Broadsheet July 6th," 6 July 2018 There’s no mumbo jumbo about the Force, no lightsabers, no First Order, and scarcely a mention of the Empire. Christopher Orr, The Atlantic, "Solo: Finally a Star Wars Movie That's Not a Rehash of Star Wars," 15 May 2018 As a result, even when Spanish vintners try to follow American-style labeling rules by naming their wines for grapes instead of towns or regions, those Spanish grape names still read like mumbo jumbo. Gar Joseph & Marnie Old, Philly.com, "Cheap Buzz: Cracking the Spanish wine code," 10 Jan. 2018 My son Gabe and his friend Jake are already tight, so that makes little sense — kind of like a lot of the mumbo jumbo espoused by the chain. Anna Caplan, star-telegram, "MidiCi has some work to do if it wants to be part of Fort Worth's pizza pie," 1 Mar. 2018 The Force is, to me, still silly Star Wars mumbo jumbo, but Johnson finds a way to underscore it with humanity, with a classical Greek rumble of true pathos. Aaron Couch, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' — What the Critics Are Saying," 12 Dec. 2017 The Force is, to me, still silly Star Wars mumbo jumbo, but Johnson finds a way to underscore it with humanity, with a classical Greek rumble of true pathos. Richard Lawson, HWD, "The Last Jedi Review: The Force Is Especially Strong in This One," 12 Dec. 2017 First there was denial: maybe Trade Federation mumbo jumbo and borderline racist alien caricatures were some modern commentary on… OK, no. Matt Patches, Esquire, "How I Forgave George Lucas and Learned to Love Star Wars Again," 4 May 2015

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

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First Known Use of mumbo jumbo

1738, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mumbo jumbo

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

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Dictionary Entries near mumbo jumbo

mumblenews

mumblety-peg

mumblingly

mumbo jumbo

mumbudget

mumchance

mume

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Time Traveler for mumbo jumbo

The first known use of mumbo jumbo was in 1738

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More Definitions for mumbo jumbo

mumbo jumbo

noun

English Language Learners Definition of mumbo jumbo

: confusing or meaningless words or activity

More from Merriam-Webster on mumbo jumbo

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