Definition of humbucker in English:



trademark in UK
  • An electric guitar pickup containing two magnetic coils rather than a single one, which gives a high output and minimizes hum from electrical interference.

    ‘the humbucker allows for classic rock, heavy metal, and other types of rock’
    [as modifier] ‘the humbucker tones are fantastic’
    • ‘The neck humbucker is very clear and bluesy, and has a nice full sound when overdriven.’
    • ‘If you use a guitar with super high output humbuckers you may have to lower the volume.’
    • ‘Since the 1950s, electric guitars have used ‘humbucker’ pickups to turn the vibrations of a string into an electric current of the same frequencies and harmonics.’
    • ‘It's lighter than a Les Paul but, with two humbucker pickups, this guitar is still a monster.’
    • ‘The humbucker has sort of a muddy sound, but I play a lot of grunge music so it suits me.’


1950s: from hum + buck + -er.