Mumbo-jumbo definition

mŭmbō-jŭmbō
Language or ritualistic activity intended to confuse.
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Any confusing or meaningless speech; nonsense, gibberish.

Football lingo is mumbo jumbo to me.

There were a bunch of foreigners speaking their Mumbo Jumbo clustered ahead of me at Customs.

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Alternative spelling of mumbo jumbo.
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A complicated or obscure ritual.
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An object believed to have supernatural powers; a fetish.
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Meaningless ritual.
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Gibberish.
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(historical) A deity or other supernatural being said to have been worshipped by certain West African peoples; an idol.
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(religion) Any object of superstition; religious words and/or actions which are seen as superstitious or fraudulent.

Rev. Quack's healing services are little more than mumbo jumbo.

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Among certain West African tribes, an idol or god believed to protect the people from evil and terrorize the women into subjection.
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Unintelligible or incomprehensible language; gibberish.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
mumbo-jumbo
Plural:
mumbo jumbos

Origin of mumbo-jumbo

  • From Mumbo-Jumbo masked dancer described in 18th-century European accounts of the Mandinka probably from Mandinka maamajomboo masked dancer with prophetic powers maama term of address for a masked dancer jomboo ceremony of opening or first use

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Probably from Mandinka maamajomboo (“mask; masked dancer"). What might be possible as well is the occurance of l-vocalization in the words "mumble" and "jumble".

    From Wiktionary