[ bab-uhl ]
See synonyms for: babblebabbling on

verb (used without object),bab·bled, bab·bling.
  1. to utter sounds or words imperfectly, indistinctly, or without meaning.

  2. to talk idly, irrationally, excessively, or foolishly; chatter or prattle.

  1. to make a continuous, murmuring sound.

verb (used with object),bab·bled, bab·bling.
  1. to utter in an incoherent, foolish, or meaningless fashion.

  2. to reveal foolishly or thoughtlessly: to babble a secret.

  1. inarticulate or imperfect speech.

  2. foolish, meaningless, or incoherent speech; prattle.

  1. a murmuring sound or a confusion of sounds.

  2. Telecommunications. a confused mixture of extraneous sounds in a circuit, resulting from cross talk from other channels.: Compare cross talk (def. 1).

Origin of babble

First recorded in 1200–50; Middle English babelen; cognate with Old Norse babbla, Dutch babbelen, German pappelen

Other words for babble

Other words from babble

  • outbabble, verb (used with object), out·bab·bled, out·bab·bling.

Words that may be confused with babble

Words Nearby babble Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use babble in a sentence

  • In fact, I described them this way myself when I wrote about infant memory two years ago for babble.

    What Your Baby Remembers | Heather Turgeon | November 9, 2010 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Her work has appeared in The Boston Globe, Washington Post, Salon, and babble.

    You're Pregnant, Have a Drink | Kate Tuttle | October 6, 2010 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Taffy Brodesser-Akner has written for the Los Angeles Times, Salon, and babble, among other publications.

    Who's Killing the Soaps? | Taffy Brodesser-Akner | December 14, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Baby Kirst had fulfilled his destiny and would babble his way through the forests no more.

    A Virginia Scout | Hugh Pendexter
  • But after that momentary and inexplicable experience, the babble of thought went on as before.

  • As they went down into the valley of the Thyme, the babble of the stream rose into the air like a perennial laughter.

    Tales and Fantasies | Robert Louis Stevenson
  • He does not say cryptic things or babble trivialities in the name of the mighty Dead—the mighty Damned or the mighty Blest.

    The Affable Stranger | Peter McArthur
  • All was silence, except somewhere, secluded and unseen, the splash and babble of falling water.

British Dictionary definitions for babble


/ (ˈbæbəl) /

  1. to utter (words, sounds, etc) in an incoherent or indistinct jumble

  2. (intr) to talk foolishly, incessantly, or irrelevantly

  1. (tr) to disclose (secrets, confidences, etc) carelessly or impulsively

  2. (intr) (of streams, birds, etc) to make a low murmuring or bubbling sound

  1. incoherent or foolish speech; chatter

  2. a murmuring or bubbling sound

Origin of babble

C13: compare Dutch babbelen, Swedish babbla, French babiller to prattle, Latin babulus fool; probably all of imitative origin

Derived forms of babble

  • babblement, noun
  • babbling, noun, adjective

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