- a Republican who refused to support the party nominee, James G. Blaine, in the presidential campaign of 1884.
- a person who is unable to make up his or her mind on an issue, especially in politics; a person who is neutral on a controversial issue.
Origin of mugwump
Examples from the Web for mugwump
Historical Examples of mugwump
There was only one degree lower, and that was to be a mugwump.A Far Country, Complete
The baby is a Mugwump—I know it 'cause he howls all the time.Witty Pieces by Witty People
This cynic, this philosopher, this mugwump says Sir Walter was a genuine man.An American Hobo in Europe
Frank is the politician of the concern; the greenback, anti-monopoly, mugwump man!A Man of Samples
Wm. H. Maher
He was opposed by Aristides, who was a very just man, and an anti-imperialist and "mugwump."The Ifs of History
Joseph Edgar Chamberlin
- US a neutral or independent person, esp in politics
Word Origin for mugwump
1832, jocular for "great man, boss, important person," American English, from Algonquian (Natick) mugquomp "important person" (derived from mugumquomp "war leader"); used from 1884 of Republicans who refused to support James G. Blaine's presidential candidacy, hence "one who holds himself aloof from party politics."