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verb (used without object), gabbed, gab·bing.
  1. to talk or chat idly; chatter.
  1. idle talk; chatter.

Origin of gab1

1780–90; apparently expressive variant of gob4; cf. gabble
Related formsgab·ber, noun


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1. chitchat, gossip, visit; yak, rap, schmooze.


noun Machinery.
  1. a hook or fork that engages temporarily with a moving rod or lever.

Origin of gab2

probably < Dutch dialect gabbe notch, gash


noun Scot. Slang.
  1. gob3.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gab

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Time after time I've missed scoring a point because the other man has had the gift of the gab and I haven't.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • Yes, Gab flapped in at the shop this afternoon to caw over it.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Thought you'd have a cabin full of gab machines by this time.

    Keziah Coffin

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • What a fine tall young man he is, and what a gift of the gab.

  • But Auld Jock had bade him "haud 'is gab" there, as in Greyfriars kirkyard.

    Greyfriars Bobby

    Eleanor Atkinson

British Dictionary definitions for gab


verb gabs, gabbing or gabbed
  1. (intr) to talk excessively or idly, esp about trivial matters; gossip; chatter
  1. idle or trivial talk
  2. gift of the gab ability to speak effortlessly, glibly, or persuasively
Derived Formsgabber, noun

Word Origin

C18: variant of Northern dialect gob mouth, probably from Irish Gaelic gob beak, mouth


  1. a hook or open notch in a rod or lever that drops over the spindle of a valve to form a temporary connection for operating the valve
  2. a pointed tool used in masonry

Word Origin

C18: probably from Flemish gabbe notch, gash


abbreviation for
  1. Gabon (international car registration)
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

Word Origin and History for gab


"to reproach," c.1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from a Scandinavian source, e.g. Old Norse gabba "to mock," or from Old French gabber "mock, boast," both perhaps ultimately imitative. Related: Gabbed; gabbing. Meaning "to talk much" is from 1786, probably a back-formation from gabble.


early 14c., "mockery," from Old French gab, from gaber (see gab (v.)); meaning "idle talk" is from 1737. Gift of the gab "talent for speaking" is from 1680s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with gab


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.