[ bab-uhl ]
See synonyms for babble 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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use babble in a sentence

  • He babbled about green fields and was unaware of her presence.

    'Are You Also With Fever?' | Dr. Abraham Verghese | February 11, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • She appeared to wander in her mind, for sometimes her words were coherent, at other times she merely babbled.

  • There were times when she babbled of faraway scenes, of Williamsburg and her old home, of the streets of Norfolk and Richmond.

    A Virginia Scout | Hugh Pendexter
  • Carl babbled continually while he and Matt were eating, but Matt had very little to say in reply.

    Motor Matt's Mystery | Stanley R. Matthews
  • Weirdly the brook babbled through its strange chords to end in the sound that was hollow.

  • She had babbled the name in her cradle days, her earliest rambles had been through its grassy paths.

    The Incendiary | W. A. (William Augustine) Leahy

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