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rambling

[ram-bling] /ˈræm blɪŋ/
adjective
1.
aimlessly wandering.
2.
taking an irregular course; straggling:
a rambling brook.
3.
spread out irregularly in various directions:
a rambling mansion.
4.
straying from one subject to another; desultory:
a rambling novel.
Origin of rambling
1615-1625
First recorded in 1615-25; ramble + -ing2
Related forms
ramblingly, adverb
ramblingness, noun
unrambling, adjective
Synonyms
4. discursive.

ramble

[ram-buh l] /ˈræm bəl/
verb (used without object), rambled, rambling.
1.
to wander around in a leisurely, aimless manner:
They rambled through the shops until closing time.
2.
to take a course with many turns or windings, as a stream or path.
3.
to grow in a random, unsystematic fashion:
The vine rambled over the walls and tree trunks.
4.
to talk or write in a discursive, aimless way (usually followed by on):
The speaker rambled on with anecdote after anecdote.
verb (used with object), rambled, rambling.
5.
to walk aimlessly or idly over or through:
They spent the spring afternoon rambling woodland paths.
noun
6.
a walk without a definite route, taken merely for pleasure.
Origin
First recorded in 1610-20; origin uncertain
Synonyms
1. stroll, saunter, amble, stray, straggle. See roam.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for rambling
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We had to keep watch all last night over the horses to keep them from rambling.

  • But this is rambling far from the momentous twenty-first of June, my day of triumph.

    The Fortune Hunter Louis Joseph Vance
  • A girl, a well born girl, rambling the woods all night with her fiancé!

    The Innocent Adventuress Mary Hastings Bradley
  • It was a rambling old place that seemed to have been cut out of a barn.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • He was lying hard on the place of his pain and rambling in delirium.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
British Dictionary definitions for rambling

rambling

/ˈræmblɪŋ/
adjective
1.
straggling or sprawling haphazardly; unplanned: a rambling old house
2.
(of speech or writing) lacking a coherent plan; diffuse and disconnected
3.
(of a plant, esp a rose) profusely climbing and straggling
4.
nomadic; wandering

ramble

/ˈræmbəl/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to stroll about freely, as for relaxation, with no particular direction
2.
(of paths, streams, etc) to follow a winding course; meander
3.
(of plants) to grow in a random fashion
4.
(of speech, writing, etc) to lack organization
noun
5.
a leisurely stroll, esp in the countryside
Word Origin
C17: probably related to Middle Dutch rammelen to roam (of animals); see ram
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 rambling
adj.

1623, present participle adjective from ramble (v.).

ramble

v.

mid-15c., perhaps frequentative of romen "to walk, go" (see roam), perhaps via romblen (late 14c.) "to ramble." The vowel change perhaps by influence of Middle Dutch rammelen, a derivative of rammen "copulate," "used of the night wanderings of the amorous cat" [Weekley]. Meaning "to talk or write incoherently" is from 1630s. Related: Rambled; rambling.

ramble

n.

"a roving or wandering," 1650s, from ramble (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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