What does humbug mean?

Definitions for humbugˈhʌmˌbʌg

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word humbug.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. baloney, boloney, bilgewater, bosh, drool, humbug, taradiddle, tarradiddle, tommyrot, tosh, twaddle(noun)

    pretentious or silly talk or writing

  2. humbug, snake oil(noun)

    communication (written or spoken) intended to deceive

  3. fraud, fraudulence, dupery, hoax, humbug, put-on(verb)

    something intended to deceive; deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage

  4. humbug(verb)

    trick or deceive


  1. humbug(Noun)

    A hoax, prank or jest

  2. humbug(Noun)

    A fraud or sham

  3. humbug(Noun)

    A fraudster or cheat

  4. humbug(Noun)

    A type of chewy sweet (candy)

  5. humbug(Verb)

    To play a trick on.

  6. humbug(Verb)

    To cheat, swindle.

  7. humbug(Interjection)


  8. Origin: First in use about 1735-40, from hum + bug

Webster Dictionary

  1. Humbug(noun)

    an imposition under fair pretenses; something contrived in order to deceive and mislead; a trick by cajolery; a hoax

  2. Humbug(noun)

    a spirit of deception; cajolery; trickishness

  3. Humbug(noun)

    one who deceives or misleads; a deceitful or trickish fellow; an impostor

  4. Humbug(verb)

    to deceive; to impose; to cajole; to hoax

  5. Origin: [Prob. fr. hum to impose on, deceive + bug a frightful object.]


  1. Humbug

    In English the word Humbug refers to a person or thing that tricks, deceives, talks, or behaves in a way that is deceptive, dishonest, false, or insincere, often a hoax or in jest. The term was first described in 1751 as student slang. It is now also often used as an exclamation to mean 'nonsense' or 'gibberish'. When referring to a person, a humbug means a fraud or impostor, implying an element of unjustified publicity and spectacle. In Britain, the term is also used for certain types of candy. In modern usage, the word is most associated with Ebenezer Scrooge, a character created by Charles Dickens. His famous reference to Christmas, "Bah! Humbug!", declaring Christmas to be a fraud, is commonly used in stage and television versions of A Christmas Carol and also appeared frequently in the original book. The word is also prominently used in The Wizard of Oz, where the wizard describes himself as "just a humbug." P. T. Barnum was a master of humbug, creating public sensations and fascination with his masterful sense of publicity. Many of his promoted exhibitions were obvious fakes, but the paying public enjoyed viewing them, either to scoff or for the wonder of them. A famous humbug took place on the arrival of the actress and theatre manager Jenny Lind to America, just outside the showplace of P. T. Barnum, the New American Museum, in 1850.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Humbug

    hum′bug, n. an imposition under fair pretences: hollowness, pretence: one who so imposes: a kind of candy.—v.t. to deceive: to hoax:—pr.p. hum′bugging; pa.p. hum′bugged.adj. Humbug′able, capable of being humbugged.—ns. Hum′bugger, one who humbugs; Hum′buggery, the practice of humbugging. [Orig. 'a false alarm,' 'a bugbear,' from hum and bug, a frightful object.]


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of humbug in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of humbug in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. William Tecumseh Sherman:

    Vox populi, vox humbug.

  2. Charles Dickens:

    'A merry Christmas, uncle God save you' cried a cheerful voice. 'Bah' said Scrooge. 'Humbug'

  3. Vincent Van Gogh:

    In the end we shall have had enough of cynicism, skepticism and humbug, and we shall want to live more musically.”

  4. Alan Simpson:

    An educated man ... is thoroughly inoculated against humbug, thinks for himself and tries to give his thoughts, in speech or on paper, some style.

  5. Becket Executive Director Montse Alvarado:

    A hearty bah-humbug toast to university officials who make Christian and Jewish students feel like second class citizens at a time that should be full of brotherly love and giving.

Images & Illustrations of humbug

  1. humbughumbughumbug

Translations for humbug

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • HumbugGerman
  • fraude;trampa;embrollo, tontería, bobería, farsa, tramposo; embaucador, disparateSpanish
  • huijaus, humpuuki, huijari, pila, sutki, kujeFinnish
  • átverés, humbugHungarian
  • imbroglioItalian
  • надувательствоRussian

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"humbug." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 19 Mar. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/humbug>.

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