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[driv-uh l] /ˈdrɪv əl/
saliva flowing from the mouth, or mucus from the nose; slaver.
childish, silly, or meaningless talk or thinking; nonsense; twaddle.
verb (used without object), driveled, driveling or (especially British) drivelled, drivelling.
to let saliva flow from the mouth or mucus from the nose; slaver.
to talk childishly or idiotically.
Archaic. to issue like spittle.
verb (used with object), driveled, driveling or (especially British) drivelled, drivelling.
to utter childishly or idiotically.
to waste foolishly.
Origin of drivel
before 1000; Middle English dryvelen, variant of drevelen, Old English dreflian; akin to draff
Related forms
driveler; especially British, driveller, noun
drivelingly; especially British, drivellingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for drivel
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I'm willing to be decent about it, Tom, but I don't want to listen to drivel like that.

    Left End Edwards Ralph Henry Barbour
  • All the drivel you got in the Union wont wash in practical politics.

    John Brown Captain R. W. Campbell
  • Five of the fellows read that drivel and decided to follow the suggestion.

    Quarter-Back Bates Ralph Henry Barbour
  • For the moment, she had forgotten his use of the term: drivel.

    Twos and Threes G. B. Stern
  • She gets you a job on the paper and then you go and slate her drivel to Jaysus.

    Ulysses James Joyce
  • I suppose it would sound like drivel if I were to repeat it.

  • "You must consider the drivel we have just listened to as of some importance, then," I declared.

    One of My Sons Anna Katharine Green
  • You didn't think I am really the sort of person who could write that—that drivel!

British Dictionary definitions for drivel


verb -els, -elling, -elled (US) -els, -eling, -eled
to allow (saliva) to flow from the mouth; dribble
(intransitive) to speak foolishly or childishly
foolish or senseless talk
saliva flowing from the mouth; slaver
Derived Forms
driveller, (US) driveler, noun
Word Origin
Old English dreflian to slaver; see draff
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 drivel

Old English dreflian "to dribble or run at the nose, slobber," from Proto-Germanic *drablojanan, from PIE *dher- "to make muddy." Meaning "to speak nonsense" is mid-14c. Related: Driveling, drivelling.


early 14c., drevel "saliva, slaver," from drivel (v.). Meaning "idiotic speech or writing" is from 1852.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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