[ bab-ling ]
/ ˈbæb lɪŋ /


foolish or meaningless chatter; prattle: the constant babbling of idle gossips.
the random production of meaningless vocal sounds characteristic of infants after about the sixth week.


chattering or prattling aimlessly.

Origin of babbling

Middle English word dating back to 1200–50; see origin at babble, -ing1, -ing2

Related forms

bab·bling·ly, adverb

Definition for babbling (2 of 2)


[ bab-uhl ]
/ ˈbæb əl /

verb (used without object), bab·bled, bab·bling.

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

to utter in an incoherent, foolish, or meaningless fashion.
to reveal foolishly or thoughtlessly: to babble a secret.


Origin of babble

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

Related forms

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

Can be confused

babble bauble bubble Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for babbling

British Dictionary definitions for babbling


/ (ˈbæbəl) /


to utter (words, sounds, etc) in an incoherent or indistinct jumble
(intr) to talk foolishly, incessantly, or irrelevantly
(tr) to disclose (secrets, confidences, etc) carelessly or impulsively
(intr) (of streams, birds, etc) to make a low murmuring or bubbling sound


incoherent or foolish speech; chatter
a murmuring or bubbling sound

Derived Forms

babblement, nounbabbling, noun, adjective

Word Origin for babble

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