[ hoh-kuhm ]
See synonyms for hokum on Thesaurus.com
  1. out-and-out nonsense; bunkum.

  2. elements of low comedy introduced into a play, novel, etc., for the laughs they may bring.

  1. sentimental matter of an elementary or stereotyped kind introduced into a play or the like.

  2. false or irrelevant material introduced into a speech, essay, etc., in order to arouse interest, excitement, or amusement.

Origin of hokum

1915–20, Americanism; probably blend of hocus-pocus and bunkum

Words Nearby hokum

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use hokum in a sentence

  • Rice is caught in the weird hierarchy of the Bush administration, where nothing seems to trump the proud place of pure hokum.

    Thandie Nails Condi | Patricia J. Williams | October 21, 2008 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Ye see, hokum he got thirty-seven cents' worth o' lemons and sperit.

    Oldtown Fireside Stories | Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • And there's just enough hokum in that to make everyone back at the Academy happy.

    The Space Pioneers | Carey Rockwell
  • Senator Gonzales was fond of the Society's crackpot receptionist, and he knew exactly what kind of hokum would please her most.

    Psichopath | Gordon Randall Garrett

British Dictionary definitions for hokum


/ (ˈhəʊkəm) /

  1. claptrap; bunk

  2. obvious or hackneyed material of a sentimental nature in a play, film, etc

Origin of hokum

C20: probably a blend of hocus-pocus and bunkum

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