- to confuse unintentionally or ignorantly; jumble: to garble instructions.
- to make unfair or misleading selections from or arrangement of (fact, statements, writings, etc.); distort: to garble a quotation.
- Archaic. to take out the best of.
- the act or process of garbling.
- an instance of garbling; a garbled phrase, literary passage, etc.
Origin of garble
Examples from the Web for garble
His voice is now shriller, the sobbing more pathetic, and the words begin to garble as he swallows water.Whatever You Do Someone Will Die. A Short Story About Impossible Choices in Iraq
Nathan Bradley Bethea
August 31, 2014
It will put his case as it is, not as others might garble it, and will obtain the sympathy of all.'Under the Chinese Dragon
F. S. Brereton
He stood on the brim of Garble's lake, shallow and artificial as his past life had been.The Happy Hypocrite
So too to garble was once to cleanse from dross and dirt, as grocers do their spices, to pick or cull out.English Past and Present
Richard Chevenix Trench
As it is dangerous to garble law papers, we shall lay the document before the public just as it appeared.Tales And Novels, Volume 5 (of 10)
The garbeller had the right to enter any shop or warehouse to view and search for drugs, and to garble and cleanse them.Old and New London
- to jumble (a story, quotation, etc), esp unintentionally
- to distort the meaning of (an account, text, etc), as by making misleading omissions; corrupt
- rare to select the best part of
- the act of garbling
- garbled matter
Word Origin and History for garble
early 15c., "to inspect and remove refuse from (spices)," from Anglo-French garbeler "to sift" (late 14c.), from Medieval Latin and Italian garbellare, from Arabic gharbala "to sift and select spices," related to kirbal "sieve," perhaps from Late Latin cribellum, diminutive of Latin cribrum "sieve" (see crisis). Apparently a widespread word among Mediterranean traders (cf. Italian garbellare, Spanish garbillo); sense of "mix up, confuse, distort language" (by selecting some things and omitting others) first recorded 1680s. Related: Garbled; garbling.