- to speak in a low indistinct manner, almost to an unintelligible extent; mutter.
- to chew ineffectively, as from loss of teeth: to mumble on a crust.
- to say or utter indistinctly, as with partly closed lips: He mumbled something about expenses.
- to chew, or try to eat, with difficulty, as from loss of teeth.
- a low, indistinct utterance or sound.
Origin of mumble
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for mumble
Everywhere we go, inspiration hits us and we just kind of mumble things into our iPhones.Haim: We’re a Band. Not a ‘Girl Band.’
May 21, 2014
He defines Dynamic Inaction with one pithy aphorism: “When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder.”When In Doubt, Mumble—Dynamic Inaction May Be Our Best Hope
April 6, 2013
"The mumble could be passive aggressive—the person wants to have someone work very hard at hearing them," Batson says.Mumbling Wins Oscars!
March 3, 2010
I wondered whether I should mumble that I had been raised by a German Lutheran.My Conversation with John Updike
Barbara Probst Solomon
January 29, 2009
During takeoff and landing, I mumble a short prayer that I learned long ago in Sunday school.The Great Plane Crash Myth
January 17, 2009
His boastful accents died away into a mumble: "Dunno what I should do."The Golden Age
I understood his mumble to mean that "he didn't know any game."
He squeezed my arm till he extorted from me some sort of mumble.
Gone was the mumble, gone was every thought except the misery of the minute.Phyllis
When he would cry out to her his frozen lips could mumble no words.Nan of Music Mountain
Frank H. Spearman
- to utter indistinctly, as with the mouth partly closed; mutter
- rare to chew (food) ineffectually or with difficulty
- an indistinct or low utterance or sound
Word Origin and History for mumble
early 14c., momelen, "to eat in a slow, ineffective manner" (perhaps "to talk with one's mouth full"), probably frequentative of interjection mum. The -b- is excrescent. Meaning "to speak indistinctly" is from mid-14c. Related: Mumbled; mumbling.
1902, from mumble (v.).