noun, plural gum·bos.

a stew or thick soup, usually made with chicken or seafood, greens, and okra or sometimes filé as a thickener.
soil that becomes sticky and nonporous when wet.


of, relating to, or like gumbo.

Origin of gumbo

1795–1805, Americanism; < Louisiana French gombo, gumbo < a Bantu language; compare Umbundu ochinggombo, Luba chinggombo okra



noun (sometimes lowercase)

a French patois spoken by blacks and Creoles in Louisiana and the French West Indies. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gumbo

Contemporary Examples of gumbo

Historical Examples of gumbo

  • And Thackeray's picture of Gumbo carrying in the soup tureen!

    Confessions of a Book-Lover

    Maurice Francis Egan

  • When cattle get into gumbo, the farmers send for the stump-dynamite and try blasting.

    Free Air

    Sinclair Lewis

  • They will then be good (with the addition of tomata paste) to boil in soup or gumbo.

  • In the northern counties it is found in "gumbo" soils in swamps.

    Trees of Indiana

    Charles Clemon Deam

  • I prefer hilltop, north slope, soil as deep as possible, and a gumbo subsoil.

    The Apple


British Dictionary definitions for gumbo



noun plural -bos US and Canadian

the mucilaginous pods of okra
another name for okra
a soup or stew thickened with okra pods
a fine soil in the W prairies that becomes muddy when wet

Word Origin for gumbo

C19: from Louisiana French gombo, of Bantu origin



(sometimes not capital) a French patois spoken by Creoles in Louisiana and the Caribbean

Word Origin for Gumbo

see gumbo
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 gumbo

1805, from Louisiana French, probably ultimately from Central Bantu dialect (cf. Mbundu ngombo "okra").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper