Origin of humbug

First recorded in 1730–40; origin uncertain

Related forms

hum·bug·ger, noun
Dictionary.com 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 Forms

humbugger, 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