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[gab-uh l] /ˈgæb əl/
verb (used without object), gabbled, gabbling.
to speak or converse rapidly and unintelligibly; jabber.
(of hens, geese, etc.) to cackle.
verb (used with object), gabbled, gabbling.
to utter rapidly and unintelligibly.
rapid, unintelligible talk.
any quick succession of meaningless sounds.
Origin of gabble
1570-80; perhaps < Middle Dutch gabbelen, or expressive formation in English; cf. gab1, gob4, -le
Related forms
gabbler, noun
outgabble, verb (used with object), outgabbled, outgabbling. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gabble
Historical Examples
  • And all the time the gabble of the women mocked at the silence of death.

    Things as They Are Amy Wilson-Carmichael
  • While I cannot but be grateful to Mrs. gabble for her kindness, I wish it had taken some other shape.

  • Mrs. gabble, it is not a question of harm, but of obedience, here.

  • “Oh, I would not take that gabble of a priest seriously if I were you,” he suggested.

    The Treasure Trail Marah Ellis Ryan
  • And the rest o' the tune it was all gabble, gabble by the brothers and sisters about you.

  • But I don't want you to gabble about where you found me sleeping.'

    The Grain Ship Morgan Robertson
  • It must have acted as a fine check, though, on people who just wanted to gabble.

    Ted and the Telephone Sara Ware Bassett
  • What business has you to gabble on so while you are in limbo?

    Paul Clifford, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • The confusion of Babel did not surpass the present gabble of a West-India market.

    Frank Mildmay Captain Frederick Marryat
  • You don't mean to tell me you were able to make her gabble a bit?

    Messengers of Evil Pierre Souvestre
British Dictionary definitions for gabble


to utter (words, etc) rapidly and indistinctly; jabber
(intransitive) (of geese and some other birds or animals) to utter rapid cackling noises
rapid and indistinct speech or noises
Derived Forms
gabbler, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Middle Dutch gabbelen, of imitative 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 gabble

1570s, frequentative of gab (q.v.), or else imitative. Related: Gabbled; gabbling.


c.1600, from gabble (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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