Nearby words

  1. humblebrag,
  2. humboldt,
  3. humboldt bay,
  4. humboldt peak,
  5. humbucker,
  6. humbuggery,
  7. humdinger,
  8. humdrum,
  9. hume,
  10. hume's law

Origin of humbug

First recorded in 1730–40; origin uncertain

Related formshum·bug·ger, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for humbug

British Dictionary definitions for humbug


/ (ˈhʌmˌbʌɡ) /


a person or thing that tricks or deceives
nonsense; rubbish
British a hard boiled sweet, usually flavoured with peppermint and often having a striped pattern

verb -bugs, -bugging or -bugged

to cheat or deceive (someone)
Derived Formshumbugger, nounhumbuggery, noun

Word Origin for humbug

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



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