- 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 mumbling
For everyone else, it was a change in the weather, an appearance of the real, Brando mumbling in a movie.The Stacks: How Leonard Chess Helped Make Muddy Waters
August 2, 2014
His wide blue eyes, baby face, and soft, mumbling voice are less pronounced than they are onscreen.Casey Affleck, Star of ‘Out of the Furnace,’ on His Hollywood Struggles
December 2, 2013
Yulia Shmalov (Economy) tries to stop me, mumbling something about the New Israel Fund.Netanya's Undemocratic Elections Panel
January 11, 2013
Then he or she would start to speak, mumbling thoughts to the dog, recalling his or her own pets.RIP Cobber
October 1, 2012
The victim was mumbling.... When they arrived at the apartment, Famolu carried Karmari inside.Wisconsin Political Attack Ad Forces Mom to Re-Live Anguish Over Murdered Son
June 8, 2012
I liked the sound of this and so kept on mumbling "All dead, all dead."City of Endless Night
His voice had a mumbling quality and I noticed the strangeness in his eyes.The Harbor
"Restrain your improper violence," he went on mumbling rapidly.An Outcast of the Islands
"Don't go near him," said O'Brien, in a thick, mumbling voice.Romance
Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
"Death amongst friends is but a festival," he quoted, mumbling in his moustache.The Rescue
- 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 mumbling
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.).