Definition of gumbo in English:


nounPlural gumbos

mass noun
  • 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.
      • ‘Two of my favourite foods are moist, juicy and succulent deep-fried turkey and spicy gumbo.’
      • ‘My mother's seafood gumbo is a good example of the way that this book works.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The hearty soup known as gumbo is a hybrid created by southern Louisiana's various population groups.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The gumbo was a bit spicier than he was used to eating.’
      • ‘It wasn't until the early 19th century that Creoles in New Orleans began using tomatoes in gumbos and jambalayas.’
      • ‘To serve, spoon some gumbo into a soup bowl and top with some andouille sausage, rice, and scallions.’
      • ‘Another establishment has circulated a coupon for its seafood gumbo, even serving it in a half-gallon size vessel.’
      • ‘Madame tried both the chicken and fish gumbos and remarked on the totally different tastes that the Cajun cuisine could produce in them.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And after a couple of spoonfuls of her mother's now-legendary spicy chicken gumbo, our conversation takes - perhaps naturally - a soupy twist.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Like the chowders of New England, or gumbos of Louisiana, shellfish is key.’
      • ‘Sixty dollars was spent between the four of us for tons of friend seafood, gumbo and Po Boys.’
      • ‘As for me, I had to have the New Orleans gumbo with shrimp, chicken and okra - delicious and full of flavors.’
  • 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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We slogged around looking for suicidal prairie dogs and learned that hills and gumbo can overcome the best four-wheel drive trucks.’
    • ‘A high pressure front carries dark clouds, and we risk becoming mired in gumbo if the weather doesn't hold up.’
  • 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.’
    • ‘It's tracks like ‘Food For Thot’, which show his James Brown-esque funk gumbo perfectly.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘With the tracks largely bereft of melody or theme, Villalobos dives ever more deeply into percussive gumbo and leaves accessible hooks behind.’
    • ‘Dance punk or dark disco - or whatever you label it - strives to mix politics, funk and electronica into a copacetic musical gumbo.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ozomatli musical fusions and cross-cultural unions create a gumbo of styles that include dub, samba, salsa and hip-hop.’
    • ‘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.’


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