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humbug

[huhm-buhg]
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noun
  1. something intended to delude or deceive.
  2. the quality of falseness or deception.
  3. a person who is not what he or she claims or pretends to be; impostor.
  4. something devoid of sense or meaning; nonsense: a humbug of technical jargon.
  5. British. a variety of hard mint candy.
verb (used with object), hum·bugged, hum·bug·ging.
  1. to impose upon by humbug or false pretense; delude; deceive.
verb (used without object), hum·bugged, hum·bug·ging.
  1. to practice humbug.
interjection
  1. (used as an expletive to express rejection of something as being completely untrue or nonsensical.)

Origin of humbug

First recorded in 1730–40; origin uncertain
Related formshum·bug·ger, noun

Synonyms

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1. imposition. 2. pretense, sham. 3. pretender, deceiver, charlatan, swindler, quack, confidence man. 6. cheat, swindle, trick, fool, dupe.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for humbug

humbug

noun
  1. a person or thing that tricks or deceives
  2. nonsense; rubbish
  3. British a hard boiled sweet, usually flavoured with peppermint and often having a striped pattern
verb -bugs, -bugging or -bugged
  1. to cheat or deceive (someone)
Derived Formshumbugger, nounhumbuggery, noun

Word Origin

C18: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for humbug

n.

1751, student slang, "trick, jest, hoax, deception," also as a verb, of unknown origin. A vogue word of the early 1750s; its origin was a subject of much whimsical speculation even then.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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