[driv-uh l]


saliva flowing from the mouth, or mucus from the nose; slaver.
childish, silly, or meaningless talk or thinking; nonsense; twaddle.

verb (used without object), driv·eled, driv·el·ing or (especially British) driv·elled, driv·el·ling.

verb (used with object), driv·eled, driv·el·ing or (especially British) driv·elled, driv·el·ling.

to utter childishly or idiotically.
to waste foolishly.

Origin of drivel

before 1000; Middle English dryvelen, variant of drevelen, Old English dreflian; akin to draff
Related formsdriv·el·er; especially British, driv·el·ler, noundriv·el·ing·ly; especially British, driv·el·ling·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for drivel

Contemporary Examples of drivel

  • Is Christopher Nolan's Inception a masterpiece, drivel, too confusing?

    The Daily Beast logo
    The War Over Inception

    Allen Barra

    July 20, 2010

  • VinnyB What's crazy, Ms. Brown, is why two respected journalists would waste their time on this drivel.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Best of the Beast Comments

    The Daily Beast

    January 15, 2010

Historical Examples of drivel

  • I'm willing to be decent about it, Tom, but I don't want to listen to drivel like that.

    Left End Edwards

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • All the drivel you got in the Union wont wash in practical politics.

    John Brown

    Captain R. W. Campbell

  • Five of the fellows read that drivel and decided to follow the suggestion.

    Quarter-Back Bates

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • For the moment, she had forgotten his use of the term: drivel.

    Twos and Threes

    G. B. Stern

  • She gets you a job on the paper and then you go and slate her drivel to Jaysus.


    James Joyce

British Dictionary definitions for drivel


verb -els, -elling or -elled or US -els, -eling or -eled

to allow (saliva) to flow from the mouth; dribble
(intr) to speak foolishly or childishly


foolish or senseless talk
saliva flowing from the mouth; slaver
Derived Formsdriveller or US driveler, noun

Word Origin for drivel

Old English dreflian to slaver; see draff
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 drivel

Old English dreflian "to dribble or run at the nose, slobber," from Proto-Germanic *drablojanan, from PIE *dher- "to make muddy." Meaning "to speak nonsense" is mid-14c. Related: Driveling, drivelling.


early 14c., drevel "saliva, slaver," from drivel (v.). Meaning "idiotic speech or writing" is from 1852.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper