• WordNet 3.6
    • adj hugger-mugger conducted with or marked by hidden aims or methods "clandestine intelligence operations","cloak-and-dagger activities behind enemy lines","hole-and-corner intrigue","secret missions","a secret agent","secret sales of arms","surreptitious mobilization of troops","an undercover investigation","underground resistance"
    • adj hugger-mugger in utter disorder "a disorderly pile of clothes"
    • adv hugger-mugger in secrecy "they did it all hugger-mugger"
    • n hugger-mugger a state of confusion "he engaged in the hugger-mugger of international finance"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Hugger-mugger Confused; disorderly; slovenly; mean; as, hugger-mugger doings.
    • Hugger-mugger Confusion; disorder.
    • Hugger-mugger Privacy; secrecy. Commonly in the phrase in hugger-mugger, with haste and secrecy. "Many things have been done in hugger-mugger ."
    • Hugger-mugger Secret; clandestine; sly.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n hugger-mugger Privacy; secrecy.
    • n hugger-mugger In confusion; with slovenliness.
    • hugger-mugger Clandestine; sly; underhanded.
    • hugger-mugger Confused; disorderly; slovenly: as, he works in a very hugger-mugger fashion.
    • hugger-mugger To hush; smother.
    • hugger-mugger To take secret counsel; proceed clandestinely.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Hugger-mugger hug′ėr-mug′ėr secrecy: confusion.
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Scot. huggrie-muggrie,; Prov. E. hugger, to lie in ambush, mug, mist, muggard, sullen
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Perh. a rhyming extension of hug.


In literature:

East and west hugger-mugger.
"Tartarin de Tarascon" by Alphonse Daudet
Muddle flies before it, and hugger-mugger becomes a thing unknown.
"Character" by Samuel Smiles
It is all hugger-mugger, with miss a-leaving.
"Foul Play" by Charles Reade
Well, I thought it would be all of a hugger-mugger.
"Love Eternal" by H. Rider Haggard
Hugger-mugger marriage is a defilement and a curse.
"In the Year of Jubilee" by George Gissing
The trial was all mystery, hugger-mugger, horror.
"The Life of John of Barneveld, 1609-15, Volume I." by John Lothrop Motley
There was no hugger-mugger escape of travel-clad bride and bridegroom.
"Jaffery" by William J. Locke
She's always at hugger-mugger with Anne Wixted.
"Uncle Silas" by J. S. LeFanu
Why should she think us a hugger-mugger family?
"What Timmy Did" by Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes
The original and proper sense of hugger-mugger is secretly.
"Notes and Queries, Number 208, October 22, 1853" by Various
Begin in hugger-mugger and you may end in it.
"The Combined Maze" by May Sinclair
Still, everything drifts on to these hugger-mugger large enterprises; Chicago spreads over the world.
"The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman" by H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
The trouble was his "hugger-mugger" management, as Carlyle expressed it.
"Leigh Hunt's Relations with Byron, Shelley and Keats" by Barnette Miller
You needn't think I want to stop in this hugger-muggering hole!
"Confessions of a Young Lady" by Richard Marsh
The town, however, is in a hugger-mugger of change.
"The Amazing Argentine" by John Foster Fraser

In poetry:

Into your Soul may truculent Daemons pass
All hugger-mugger in that dun Morass,
But while the Rouge is mantling to your Cheek,
Nothing will chide you in your Looking-Glass.
"The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám Jr." by Wallace Irwin

In news:

Police question and release " hugger mugger".
Des Peres Police questioned and released the so-called hugger mugger Wednesday.