garble

[ gahr-buh l ]
/ ˈgɑr bəl /

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

to confuse unintentionally or ignorantly; jumble: to garble instructions.
to make unfair or misleading selections from or arrangement of (fact, statements, writings, etc.); distort: to garble a quotation.
Archaic. to take out the best of.

noun

the act or process of garbling.
an instance of garbling; a garbled phrase, literary passage, etc.

Nearby words

  1. garbage man,
  2. garbage truck,
  3. garbageman,
  4. garbanzo,
  5. garbed,
  6. garbled,
  7. garbo,
  8. garbo, greta,
  9. garboard,
  10. garboard strake

Origin of garble

1400–50; late Middle English garbelen to remove refuse from spices < Old Italian garbellare to sift < Arabic gharbala < Late Latin crībellāre, derivative of crībellum, diminutive of Latin crībrum sieve (see -elle); probably influenced by garboil

Related formsgar·ble·a·ble, adjectivegar·bler, nounun·gar·bled, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for garble


British Dictionary definitions for garble

garble

/ (ˈɡɑːbəl) /

verb (tr)

to jumble (a story, quotation, etc), esp unintentionally
to distort the meaning of (an account, text, etc), as by making misleading omissions; corrupt
rare to select the best part of

noun

  1. the act of garbling
  2. garbled matter
Derived Formsgarbler, noun

Word Origin for garble

C15: from Old Italian garbellare to strain, sift, from Arabic gharbala, from ghirbāl sieve, from Late Latin crībellum small sieve, from crībrum sieve

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 garble

garble

v.

early 15c., "to inspect and remove refuse from (spices)," from Anglo-French garbeler "to sift" (late 14c.), from Medieval Latin and Italian garbellare, from Arabic gharbala "to sift and select spices," related to kirbal "sieve," perhaps from Late Latin cribellum, diminutive of Latin cribrum "sieve" (see crisis). Apparently a widespread word among Mediterranean traders (cf. Italian garbellare, Spanish garbillo); sense of "mix up, confuse, distort language" (by selecting some things and omitting others) first recorded 1680s. Related: Garbled; garbling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper