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Synonym Chooser

How is the word humbug different from other nouns like it?

Some common synonyms of humbug are counterfeit, fake, fraud, imposture, and sham. While all these words mean "a thing made to seem other than it is," humbug suggests elaborate pretense usually so flagrant as to be transparent.

creating publicity by foisting humbugs on a gullible public

When would counterfeit be a good substitute for humbug?

Although the words counterfeit and humbug have much in common, counterfeit applies especially to the close imitation of something valuable.

20-dollar bills that were counterfeits

When might fake be a better fit than humbug?

The synonyms fake and humbug are sometimes interchangeable, but 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

When can fraud be used instead of humbug?

The words fraud and humbug are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, fraud usually implies a deliberate perversion of the truth.

the diary was exposed as a fraud

When could imposture be used to replace humbug?

The words imposture and humbug can be used in similar contexts, but 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

When is sham a more appropriate choice than humbug?

While in some cases nearly identical to humbug, sham applies to fraudulent imitation of a real thing or action.

condemned the election as a sham

Thesaurus Entries Near humbug

Cite this Entry

“Humbug.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on humbug

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