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1. Something intended to deceive; a hoax or fraud.
2. A person who claims to be other than what he or she is; an impostor.
3. Nonsense; rubbish.
4. Pretense; deception.
Used to express disbelief or disgust.
v. hum·bugged, hum·bug·ging, hum·bugs
To deceive or trick.
To practice deception or trickery.

[Origin unknown.]

hum′bug′ger n.
hum′bug′ger·y n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. pretentious behavior or attitudes.
2. imposing or deceptive behavior. — humbug, humbugger, n.
See also: Behavior
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in classic literature ?
It is in communities like this that Jesuit humbuggery flourishes.
The fact is, that there is a vast deal of unintentional humbuggery in some of the accounts we have from scientific men concerning the religious institutions of Polynesia.
Adams craved political advancement but refused to demean himself on the campaign trail, even after Jackson's election shook his faith that the republic would reward talent and virtue over humbuggery and prejudice.
This helps Young make his point: We can't simply (and simplemindedly) blame only the deceiver, no matter how morally convenient that might be; we also need to look at dupes, to interrogate our culture and ourselves about why we believe such patently implausible hoaxes and humbuggery. As the case of Trump illustrates, we continue to be fascinated and compelled by liars even after we know that they are peddling fakery.
Even theologians have to a great extent forgotten the terrible influence, in times past, of demonic agencies, and, if they do not absolutely reject the instances recorded in the Bible, they are disposed to treat all other cases as humbuggery, knavery, deception, or to class them with epilepsy, insanity, hallucination, and other diseases to which we are subject, and to dismiss them, when they cannot be denied, with the physicians, under the heads of mania, monomania, nymphomania, demonopathy, &c.
They are angered by the Washington's double standards and sanctimonious humbuggery when they 'advise' selected countries and dictate terms on human rights and related issues, using the UN as a tool.
Kinney to secrecy, given the sensitivities of others around him: but "[crying] out," as Barrett later puts it, against Home's humbuggery" (p.
"Economic law," writes Woods, "is...necessarily amoral, having nothing to do with morality one way or the other." But this is patent humbuggery. Economics has everything to do with morality.
The humbuggery is then discovered by an "astute personage" who is angered by the deception: