Definition of gumbo in English:



  • 1North American Okra, especially the gelatinous pods used in cooking.

    • ‘Call it gumbo, bamya, lady's fingers, bhindi, quingombo or a half-dozen other names, okra is an annual vegetable usually thought of as a Southern plant.’
    1. 1.1(in Cajun cooking) a spicy chicken or seafood soup thickened typically with okra or rice.
      • ‘The common basis of all gumbos is the roux, a roughly equal combination of flour and fat cooked until very nearly burnt; it is the dark smoky roux that gives the gumbo its colour and flavour.’
      • ‘And after a couple of spoonfuls of her mother's now-legendary spicy chicken gumbo, our conversation takes - perhaps naturally - a soupy twist.’
      • ‘Another establishment has circulated a coupon for its seafood gumbo, even serving it in a half-gallon size vessel.’
      • ‘Sixty dollars was spent between the four of us for tons of friend seafood, gumbo and Po Boys.’
      • ‘It wasn't until the early 19th century that Creoles in New Orleans began using tomatoes in gumbos and jambalayas.’
      • ‘Like the chowders of New England, or gumbos of Louisiana, shellfish is key.’
      • ‘To serve, spoon some gumbo into a soup bowl and top with some andouille sausage, rice, and scallions.’
      • ‘Two of my favourite foods are moist, juicy and succulent deep-fried turkey and spicy gumbo.’
      • ‘As for me, I had to have the New Orleans gumbo with shrimp, chicken and okra - delicious and full of flavors.’
      • ‘This Aberdonian favourite specialises in seafood recipes from around the world - gumbos, chowders, fishcakes, the works - using every imaginable fresh Scottish seafood, including halibut, sole, wolf fish, turbot, lobster and crab.’
      • ‘The shrimp and crab cakes and seafood gumbo, among many other possibilities, were tasty, but lines to get a look at the grub were plenty long.’
      • ‘My mother's seafood gumbo is a good example of the way that this book works.’
      • ‘The hearty soup known as gumbo is a hybrid created by southern Louisiana's various population groups.’
      • ‘If you're feeling like a raw prawn in some cosmic seafood gumbo, what to do?’
      • ‘And Robinson's rendition of chicken gumbo - a simple Carolina low-country stew of okra and tomato with tender chicken shreds - has real personality.’
      • ‘Madame tried both the chicken and fish gumbos and remarked on the totally different tastes that the Cajun cuisine could produce in them.’
      • ‘The gumbo was a bit spicier than he was used to eating.’
      • ‘It is combined with different meats, gumbos, greens, and sauces, many still prepared and eaten according to the old traditions, although, unlike in Sierra Leone, pork or bacon is a frequent addition.’
      • ‘That was just one course of the party fare that included Virginia ham, cheese biscuits, seafood gumbo, salmon, a wealth of side dishes and an array of sophisticated Mexican food.’
      • ‘The town's main drag is a hodgepodge of candle merchants, T-shirt vendors, jewelry makers, and crayfish stands, with the sweet sounds of guitar and washboard zydeco blending with the spicy aromas of gumbo and BBQ.’
  • 2A French-based patois spoken by some blacks and Creoles in Louisiana.

  • 3North American A fine clayey soil that becomes sticky and impervious when wet.

    • ‘A high pressure front carries dark clouds, and we risk becoming mired in gumbo if the weather doesn't hold up.’
    • ‘We slogged around looking for suicidal prairie dogs and learned that hills and gumbo can overcome the best four-wheel drive trucks.’
    • ‘For a place so famous for its roads, Chaco is connected to the modern world tenuously at best: The only access is over washboard dirt roads that can turn to gumbo after a storm.’
    • ‘Indeed, Elmer was raised on what old-timers down home still call the Island, a 2,000-acre tract of low-lying sand and black gumbo that the Mississippi periodically reclaimed.’
    • ‘The dirt roads leading northwest from Medora were at times a slippery gumbo, but I pressed on, through darkness, until I came to an absurdly slick hill and began fishtailing down, toward a cluster of juniper bushes.’
  • 4A type of Cajun music consisting of a lively blend of styles and sounds.

    ‘New Orleans syncopated gumbo’
    • ‘All it is is a gumbo of different musical styles that I like and mixed up and thrown together.’
    • ‘First released in 1971, it's a glorious gumbo of big music, full of inspired playing by a band that had been on the road for the best part of half a century.’
    • ‘Using the musical traditions of Quebec as their starting point, they bolt on jazz, Cajun and even Latin influences to create an infectious gumbo of sounds and rhythms.’
    • ‘With the tracks largely bereft of melody or theme, Villalobos dives ever more deeply into percussive gumbo and leaves accessible hooks behind.’
    • ‘In the space of an hour, they've managed to shoehorn in a little bit of everything; a genre-defying gumbo that should sound disparate, stupid and plain wrong.’
    • ‘Dance punk or dark disco - or whatever you label it - strives to mix politics, funk and electronica into a copacetic musical gumbo.’
    • ‘It's tracks like ‘Food For Thot’, which show his James Brown-esque funk gumbo perfectly.’
    • ‘Ozomatli musical fusions and cross-cultural unions create a gumbo of styles that include dub, samba, salsa and hip-hop.’


Early 19th century: from the Angolan word kingombo okra.