- meaningless incantation or ritual.
- senseless or pretentious language, usually designed to obscure an issue, confuse a listener, or the like.
- an object of superstitious awe or reverence.
- (initial capital letters) the guardian of western Sudan villages symbolized by a masked man who combats evil and punishes women for breaches of tribal laws.
Origin of mumbo jumbo
Related Words for mumbo jumboclaptrap, double-talk, gibberish, gobbledygook, hocus-pocus, hogwash, obscuration
Examples from the Web for mumbo jumbo
Historical Examples of mumbo jumbo
Full of mumbo-jumbo about "inner-directed" and "outer-directed" personalities.This Crowded Earth
"Every society has its mumbo-jumbo to keep it in order," said Arkwright.The Fashionable Adventures of Joshua Craig
David Graham Phillips
Then that must have been a masquerade, that other time—all that mumbo-jumbo with the Anagrams.And Then the Town Took Off
Ive no use for your Mumbo-Jumbo trickery and Manchester morality.John Brown
Captain R. W. Campbell
They may fill the interval with hoodoo rites, caste divisions or Mumbo-Jumbo worship, as they please.Problems of the Pacific
- foolish religious reverence, ritual, or incantation
- meaningless or unnecessarily complicated language
- an object of superstitious awe or reverence
Word Origin for mumbo jumbo
1738, name of an idol supposedly worshipped by certain tribes in Africa; said to be a corruption of words in Mandingo (one reconstructed version is Mama Dyumbo), but no likely source has been found in the languages of the Niger region, to which the original accounts relate. Meaning "big, empty talk" is attested from 1896.