• synonyms


[skrib-uh l]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), scrib·bled, scrib·bling.
  1. to write hastily or carelessly: to scribble a letter.
  2. to cover with meaningless writing or marks: to scribble all over a page.
verb (used without object), scrib·bled, scrib·bling.
  1. to write or draw in a hasty or careless way.
  2. to make meaningless marks, scrolls, lines, etc., with a pencil, pen, or the like.
  1. a note or other writing that has little or no meaning.
  2. a hasty or careless drawing or piece of writing.
  3. handwriting, especially when illegible.

Origin of scribble1

1425–75; late Middle English scribblen (v.) < Medieval Latin scrībillāre to scribble, derivative of Latin scrībere to write; see shrive
Related formsscrib·bling·ly, adverb


[skrib-uh l]
verb (used with object), scrib·bled, scrib·bling.
  1. to tear apart (wool fibers) in the first stages of carding.

Origin of scribble2

1675–85; < Dutch schribbelen to scratch; cognate with schrobbelen to card wool coarsely, frequentative of schrobben to scrub1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for scribble

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for scribble


  1. to write or draw in a hasty or illegible manner
  2. to make meaningless or illegible marks (on)
  3. derogatory, or facetious to write poetry, novels, etc
  1. hasty careless writing or drawing
  2. writing, esp literary matter, of poor quality
  3. meaningless or illegible marks
Derived Formsscribbly, adjective

Word Origin

C15: from Medieval Latin scrībillāre to write hastily, from Latin scrībere to write


  1. (tr) to card (wool, etc)

Word Origin

C17: probably from Low German; compare schrubben scrub 1
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 scribble


mid-15c., from Medieval Latin scribillare, diminutive of Latin scribere "to write" (see script (n.)). Related: Scribbled; scribbling. The noun, "hurried or careless writing," is 1570s, from the verb.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper