• WordNet 3.6
    • v humbug trick or deceive
    • n humbug something intended to deceive; deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage
    • n humbug communication (written or spoken) intended to deceive
    • n humbug pretentious or silly talk or writing
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Humbug A spirit of deception; cajolery; trickishness.
    • Humbug An imposition under fair pretenses; something contrived in order to deceive and mislead; a trick by cajolery; a hoax.
    • Humbug One who deceives or misleads; a deceitful or trickish fellow; an impostor.
    • v. t Humbug To deceive; to impose; to cajole; to hoax.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n humbug A trick; an imposition, especially an imposition perpetrated under fair and honorable pretenses; a hoax.
    • n humbug A spirit of deception or imposition; falseness; hollowness; pretense; sham: as, there is a great deal of humbug about him.
    • n humbug An impostor; a cheat; a deceitful fellow; a person given to cajolery, flattery, or specious stories.
    • n humbug A form of nippers for grasping the cartilage of the nose in refractory cattle.
    • n humbug A kind of candy. See the extract.
    • humbug To deceive by a false pretense; impose upon; cajole; hoax.
    • humbug To practise deceit or trickery.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Humbug hum′bug an imposition under fair pretences: hollowness, pretence: one who so imposes: a kind of candy
    • v.t Humbug to deceive: to hoax:—pr.p. hum′bugging; pa.p. hum′bugged
    • ***


  • P.T. Barnum
    P.T. Barnum
    “More persons, on the whole, are humbugged by believing in nothing than by believing in too much.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Prob. fr. hum, to impose on, deceive + bug, a frightful object


In literature:

Seems to me a new ship, too; anyway, she's got those humbugging patent tops'ls.
"A Master of Fortune" by Cutcliffe Hyne
That wine is a humbug.
"The American Baron" by James De Mille
Force of circumstances compels me this evening to represent the Great Traveling Humbug you came to see.
"Continental Monthly, Vol. I. February, 1862, No. II." by Various
A thousand slimy, humbugging old aunts should not keep them apart.
"The Devil's Garden" by W. B. Maxwell
The only humbugs are not those that work on our fears.
"Continental Monthly, Vol. I, No. V, May, 1862" by Various
Your black magic's all humbug.
"Pearl of Pearl Island" by John Oxenham
They were peculiarly religious, but would tolerate no saintly humbugs who lived on superstition.
"Drake, Nelson and Napoleon" by Walter Runciman
They are all a humbug.
"Children of the Market Place" by Edgar Lee Masters
You can't humbug an old salt like me.
"The Book of the Bush" by George Dunderdale
The Ballantyne Humbug Handled by the author of the Life of Sir Walter Scott.
"Sir Walter Scott as a Critic of Literature" by Margaret Ball
Jawleyford was a great humbug.
"Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour" by R. S. Surtees
HARRY HUMBUG (a true British Sailor, afterwards Harlequin), CAPT.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete" by Various
"Memoir of Jane Austen" by James Edward Austen-Leigh
Some of my friends told me it was nothing but a fake and a humbug.
"The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English" by R. V. Pierce
Notwithstanding all this humbug, a large portion of them mean, I am sure, to fight it out.
"Diary of the Besieged Resident in Paris" by Henry Labouchère
And I think they're all invented to humbug us.
"The Way of Ambition" by Robert Hichens
We are so circumstanced towards each other that any consideration must be humbug and nonsense.
"Can You Forgive Her?" by Anthony Trollope
You can't cut those clouds into slices of cheese as you can them of that humbug of a Cloud Lowrain.
"The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No. 2, August, 1862" by Various
If it pretended to have one it would be a humbug.
"Folkways" by William Graham Sumner
It's all humbug, I know!
"The Fifth Form at Saint Dominic's" by Talbot Baines Reed

In poetry:

They only see in the humbug old
A holiday every year,
And handsome gifts, and joys untold,
And unaccustomed cheer.
"At a Pantomime." by William Schwenck Gilbert
He wasn't good, despite the air
An M.B. waistcoat gives;
Indeed, his dearest friends declare
No greater humbug lives.
"First Love" by William Schwenck Gilbert
"That's patent to all of us here,
As any mere schoolboy can tell."
POND answered, "Of course it's quite clear";
And so did that humbug MORELL.
"The Force of Argument" by William Schwenck Gilbert
Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Just a word i' thi ear,--
Aw hooap we shall net disagree;
But aw'm foorced to admit as aw watch thi each year,
At tha seems a big humbug to me.
"Cuckoo!" by John Hartley
Cuckoo, thar't a type ov a lot at aw've met,--
Aw'm nooan sooary when th' time comes to Part;--
An i' spite ov all th' poets 'at's lauded thi, yet,
Tha'rt a humbug!--That's just what tha art.
"Cuckoo!" by John Hartley
When William, Duke of Schumbug,
A tyrant and a humbug,
With cannon and with thunder on our city bore,
Our fortitude and valiance
Insthructed his battalions
To respict the galliant Irish upon Shannon shore.
"The Battle Of Limerick" by William Makepeace Thackeray

In news:

Putting a Little Humbug Back Into Christmas.
Picture taken at Port Orford of Humbug Mountain.
Humbug Mountain Click to enlarge.
And when presented with a 25-foot-long dinosaur running amok, all notions of humbug disappear.
On this day in the musical theatre: "Barnum," a Cy Coleman musical about the legendary Prince of Humbug, opened on Broadway in 1980.
Nary a humbug for CASHS' 'Carol'.
Sling Shot replaces the successful HumBug'r Holiday Porter for the spring season.
STEVE ZUGSCHWERDT / FOR KITSAP A&E Scrooge, played by Paul Adkins, practices humbugging as he makes his evening commute through London on Christmas Eve.
'Humbug' opens this weekend in downtown Antioch .
'Humbug in Antioch for 38 years.
Resurrection Theatre presents its 38th annual Humbug at the Virginia J Calisesi Studio Theater, 512 W Second St.
Here's a 'Humbug' Supercut for Anyone Who Hates Christmas.
Lots of Gloss , No Humbug.