- 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.
- the act or process of garbling.
- an instance of garbling; a garbled phrase, literary passage, etc.
Origin of garble
Examples from the Web for garbled
Ninety-Sixth Street marks the first delay of the trip, the cause of which is lost in a garbled announcement from the conductor.Leaky Ceilings, Catcalls, and Uncaged Pythons: 4 Hours on NYC’s Worst Subway
August 8, 2014
It was such poor quality that even Spencer admits you could only hear “every fifth world” and that it was all “garbled.”Did Sexpot Schoolteacher Pamela Smart Hire Teens to Kill Her Husband?
January 19, 2014
When he did engage, his answers were garbled to the point of incomprehensibility.Rick Screwed the Pooch
October 19, 2011
Charlie lent an ear to the garbled veblenisms and gave it up.Erik Dorn
He garbled his sentences so to speak with excessive and useless wording.Adventures in the Arts
Boccaccio has garbled the passage for the sake of his point.The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio
It was garbled truth, but there was enough to make his spine feel like ice.Talents, Incorporated
William Fitzgerald Jenkins
Frank, your mother must know, and if she waits she will get a garbled account.In Honour's Cause
George Manville Fenn
- jumbled or unclear because of distortion or omissions
- 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
- the act of garbling
- garbled matter
Word Origin and History for garbled
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.