Definition of mugwump in English:



North American
  • A person who remains aloof or independent, especially from party politics.

    • ‘Webster calls himself a Mugwump, but the mug and wump usually lean over the conservative side of the fence.’
    • ‘Whether they're Republicans, Democrats, mugwumps or what have you, they don't like it.’
    • ‘For the average citizen, if there's anything to be said of a mugwump, it's that he doesn't play favorites.’
    • ‘That silence speaks volumes about where many American farmers now sit on free trade; they are fence-sitting mugwumps.’
    • ‘I sit on the fence…a "mugwump" as my daddy would say.’


Mid 19th century: from Algonquian mugquomp ‘great chief’.