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[baw-buh l] /ˈbɔ bəl/
a showy, usually cheap, ornament; trinket; gewgaw.
a jester's scepter.
Origin of bauble
1275-1325; Middle English babel, babulle < Old French babel, baubel, derivatives of an expressive base with varying vocalisms; compare Old French baubelet, bibelot
Can be confused
babble, Babel, bauble, bubble. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bauble
Historical Examples
  • Her black eyes gleamed with triumph at the sight of the bauble.

    City of Endless Night Milo Hastings
  • It was thus I now toyed there with my fate in my hands, as might a child have toyed with a bauble.

    Ruggles of Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
  • He let it lie on the table before him and gazed at the bauble in a strong distaste.

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
  • So you had better produce the other bauble you stole at the same time.

    David Elginbrod George MacDonald
  • Actually, he knew he could get an easy twenty-five balata for the bauble in Karth.

    The Players Everett B. Cole
  • It is a bauble meant to gratify her: why make it a fetter, be it ever so light a one?

    Molly Bawn Margaret Wolfe Hamilton
  • I keep a box in my pocket merely as a bauble—it was a present.

    Loss and Gain John Henry Newman
  • She threw the bauble on the floor; it lay there crushed and shapeless.

    The Doomsman Van Tassel Sutphen
  • The gilding all stripped from the bauble which till then had made her happy.

    A Sheaf of Corn Mary E. Mann
  • But it was only a pinchbeck thing, an imitation, a bauble, an empty show.

    Following the Equator, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
British Dictionary definitions for bauble


a showy toy or trinket of little value; trifle
a small, usually spherical ornament made of coloured or decorated material which is hung from the branches of a Christmas tree Usual US name Christmas ornament
(formerly) a mock staff of office carried by a court jester
Word Origin
C14: from Old French baubel plaything, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bauble

"showy trinket or ornament," early 14c., from Old French baubel "child's toy, trinket," probably a reduplication of bel, from Latin bellus "pretty" (see bene-). Or else related to babe, baby.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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