mumbo jumbo

[ muhm-boh juhm-boh ]
/ ˈmʌm boʊ ˈdʒʌm boʊ /

noun, plural mum·bo jum·bos.

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.

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Origin of mumbo jumbo

First recorded in 1730–40; of disputed orig.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for mumbo jumbo

British Dictionary definitions for mumbo jumbo

mumbo jumbo
/ (ˈmʌmbəʊ) /

noun plural mumbo jumbos

foolish religious reverence, ritual, or incantation
meaningless or unnecessarily complicated language
an object of superstitious awe or reverence

Word Origin for mumbo jumbo

C18: probably from Mandingo mama dyumbo, name of a tribal god
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