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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 gabs

Historical Examples

  • To perdition with the professional man who gabs to his wife!

    The Return of Peter Grimm

    David Belasco

  • Hugo will hear of no accommodation unless the gabs are performed.

  • And while he gabs, we'll get the best of the steak and the wine!

    The Carpet from Bagdad

    Harold MacGrath

  • Now, one night, just before Christmas, he had finished all but the uppermost planking and the gabs.

  • To the direct south is the great chott, so shallow that the trail to Gabs can cross it at its widest part.

British Dictionary definitions for gabs


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 gabs



"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 gabs


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