[jib-er, gib-]

verb (used without object)

to speak inarticulately or meaninglessly.
to speak foolishly; chatter.


gibbering utterance.

Origin of gibber

1595–1605; origin uncertain; perhaps frequentative of gib (obsolete) to caterwaul (see gib2); sense and pronunciation influenced by association with jabber Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gibbering

Contemporary Examples of gibbering

Historical Examples of gibbering

  • It is then that you will get the gibbering of returning life.

    Journeys to Bagdad

    Charles S. Brooks

  • She lay listening to a quivering, gibbering tune that she did not know.


    John Galsworthy

  • "You be a brave Buckra," said she, in her gibbering English.

  • Shake up, you gibbering fools; luff her a bit and make fast.

    The Iron Pirate

    Max Pemberton

  • Our society is becoming a veritable babel of gibbering crowds.

    The Behavior of Crowds

    Everett Dean Martin

British Dictionary definitions for gibbering




to utter rapidly and unintelligibly; prattle
(intr) (of monkeys and related animals) to make characteristic chattering sounds


a less common word for gibberish

Word Origin for gibber

C17: of imitative origin



noun Australian

a stone or boulder
(modifier) of or relating to a dry flat area of land covered with wind-polished stonesgibber plains

Word Origin for gibber

C19: from a native Australian language
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 gibbering



c.1600, probably a back-formation from gibberish. Related: Gibbered; gibbering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper