Definition of mumbo jumbo noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


mumbo jumbo

BrE BrE//ˌmʌmbəʊ ˈdʒʌmbəʊ//
; NAmE NAmE//ˌmʌmboʊ ˈdʒʌmboʊ//
[uncountable] (informal, disapproving)
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language or a ceremony that seems complicated and important but is actually without real sense or meaning; nonsense religious/medical/bureaucratic mumbo jumbo I won’t have anything to do with spiritualism, ghosts and all that mumbo jumbo. More Like This Reduplicative words airy-fairy, argy-bargy, chit-chat, criss-cross, dilly-dally, harum-scarum, helter-skelter, higgledy-piggledy, hocus-pocus, hoity-toity, hotchpotch, hurly-burly, itty-bitty, mumbo jumbo, mishmash, nitty-gritty, ping-pong, pitter-patter, shilly-shally, teeny-weeny, tittle-tattle, touchy-feely, wishy-washySee worksheet. Word Originmid 18th cent. (as Mumbo Jumbo, denoting a supposed African idol): of unknown origin; the current sense dates from the late 19th cent.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: mumbo jumbo