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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.
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verb (used with object), hum·bugged, hum·bug·ging.
  1. to impose upon by humbug or false pretense; delude; deceive.
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verb (used without object), hum·bugged, hum·bug·ging.
  1. to practice humbug.
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interjection
  1. (used as an expletive to express rejection of something as being completely untrue or nonsensical.)
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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
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verb -bugs, -bugging or -bugged
  1. to cheat or deceive (someone)
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper