mumbo jumbo

noun
mum·​bo jum·​bo | \ ˌməm-bō-ˈjəm-(ˌ)bō How to pronounce mumbo jumbo (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 There’s validity, too, to the argument that Sunday Service is nothing more than , a lot of mumbo jumbo signifying nothing. Erik Maza, Town & Country, "In Paris, Kanye West Was the Welcome Disruption Fashion Week Needed," 4 Mar. 2020 The marketing around the film heavily emphasized its jukebox-hits soundtrack, and it was packed with more weird space mumbo jumbo than every Star Wars film before it. John Gilpatrick, Popular Mechanics, "The Marvel Decade: How Superheroes Ruled the Cinema in the 2010s," 26 Dec. 2019 Figuring out whether to buy a new iPhone always requires sorting through marketing mumbo jumbo. Geoffrey A. Fowler, The Denver Post, "First look at iPhone 11: That’s an awful lot of cash for a camera," 15 Sep. 2019 No sugar cookies, no chocolate-chip mumbo jumbo, or your Nana’s special recipe. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 19 Dec. 2019 Figuring out whether to buy a new iPhone always requires sorting through marketing mumbo jumbo. Geoffrey A. Fowler, The Denver Post, "First look at iPhone 11: That’s an awful lot of cash for a camera," 15 Sep. 2019 Figuring out whether to buy a new iPhone always requires sorting through marketing mumbo jumbo. Geoffrey A. Fowler, The Denver Post, "First look at iPhone 11: That’s an awful lot of cash for a camera," 15 Sep. 2019 Figuring out whether to buy a new iPhone always requires sorting through marketing mumbo jumbo. Geoffrey A. Fowler, The Denver Post, "First look at iPhone 11: That’s an awful lot of cash for a camera," 15 Sep. 2019 Figuring out whether to buy a new iPhone always requires sorting through marketing mumbo jumbo. Geoffrey A. Fowler, The Denver Post, "First look at iPhone 11: That’s an awful lot of cash for a camera," 15 Sep. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mumbo jumbo

Time Traveler for mumbo jumbo

Time Traveler

The first known use of mumbo jumbo was in 1738

See more words from the same year

Statistics for mumbo jumbo

Cite this Entry

“Mumbo jumbo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mumbo%20jumbo. Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mumbo jumbo

mumbo jumbo

noun
How to pronounce mumbo jumbo (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of mumbo jumbo

informal : confusing or meaningless words or activity

More from Merriam-Webster on mumbo jumbo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mumbo jumbo

Comments on mumbo jumbo

What made you want to look up mumbo jumbo? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!