Definition of hokum in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Nonsense.

    ‘they dismissed such corporate homilies as boardroom hokum’
    • ‘Say, for the sake of argument, that this is all unsubstantiated holistic hokum.’
    • ‘And this ‘mental modeling’ notion is pure hokum.’
    • ‘Whatever the case, the young Englishman's account is pure hokum.’
    • ‘All the press stories about this topic are just hokum.’
    • ‘What does new age hokum have to do with our research?’
    • ‘Hence the tired refrain about what they did is a load of emotional hokum - argument by outrage.’
    • ‘If you're a nightly news devotee, then the 30-second hokum that often passes for nutrition science may confuse you at the very least or derail your long-term health at worst.’
    • ‘This was clearly hokum as subsequent details of Denis's comfortable bank balance became apparent.’
    • ‘Rarely a week goes by without similar flights of fantasy, the latest being some hokum about Prince William, the very mention of whose name is said to send sales of newspapers into the stratosphere.’
    • ‘The first thing to forget is any notion that all this hokum is based on proper science.’
    • ‘It just adds to the hokum overload in this disappointing novel.’
    • ‘There's too much of this kind of prima-donna diving going on in football already and to see a player of Kelly's outstanding calibre resort to that kind of hokum is as disappointing as it is pathetic.’
    • ‘I don't care whether it is all hokum and a big con trick’
    • ‘But I would say this whole hokum about these missile agreements, these negotiations, has now broken into a total farce.’
    • ‘This sounds like hokum, but it helped my cat immeasurably (by reducing his stress I suppose).’
    • ‘It is quite possible that the article was published in the full knowledge of the author and the editor of this magazine that it is all hokum, but fun.’
    • ‘It's surprising, then, how a couple of strangely touching notes toward the close redeem a work that boldly straddles the line between total hokum and the very stimulating.’
    • ‘That's bosh and hokum, and it does a disservice to the people.’
    jargon, unintelligible language, obscure language, mumbo jumbo, argle-bargle, gibberish, balderdash, claptrap, nonsense, rubbish, twaddle
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    1. 1.1Trite, sentimental, or unrealistic situations and dialogue in a film or other work.
      ‘classic B-movie hokum’
      • ‘Despite the laborious backstory and mood lighting, the movie is chock full of standard comic book hokum.’
      • ‘This film is head and shoulders above Hollywood hokum based in the same situations.’
      • ‘But it's nicely shot hokum, and almost instantly forgettable.’
      • ‘For some of today's filmgoers, it's outdated hokum; for others, it's one of the all-time greatest love stories on film.’
      • ‘Sadly, he could have done with a meatier storyline to rescue the movie from well-crafted hokum, which is a bit of a shame, given the money, the stress and a year's work.’
      • ‘These episodes do have messages, but they're buried under so much '60s television action series hokum that they are difficult to find and are rendered almost meaningless.’
      • ‘The plot and characterizations have been whittled into the barest of Hollywood hokum.’
      • ‘If hokum like that can find its way into the final film, why not some more over-the-top musical numbers?’
      • ‘Is this just another serving of Hollywood hokum?’
      • ‘During its heyday, Hollywood churned out hundreds of such harmonious hokum, trading on everything from ice skating to swimming ability as a reason for breaking into a popular tune.’
      • ‘And yet, coming out of the preview, marvelling at the sheer gall of such hokum, I overheard fellow reviewers earnestly discussing how ‘real’ the film was.’
      • ‘Film review: A brilliantly made piece of sci-fi hokum.’
      • ‘He handles the far-fetched hokum very well and with a constant sense of humor - the cat being eaten off-screen is hilarious.’
      • ‘Looking at the film now, it works beautifully as pure family entertainment, heavy on the sarcastic wit and full of unadulterated corn, cheese and hokum, especially in the final family group-hug scene.’
      mawkishness, over-sentimentality, sentimentalism, emotionalism, overemotionalism
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Early 20th century: of unknown origin.