[ muhm-buhl ]
See synonyms for: mumblemumbledmumbling on

verb (used without object),mum·bled, mum·bling.
  1. to speak in a low indistinct manner, almost to an unintelligible extent; mutter.

  2. to chew ineffectively, as from loss of teeth: to mumble on a crust.

verb (used with object),mum·bled, mum·bling.
  1. to say or utter indistinctly, as with partly closed lips: He mumbled something about expenses.

  2. to chew, or try to eat, with difficulty, as from loss of teeth.

  1. a low, indistinct utterance or sound.

Origin of mumble

1275–1325; Middle English momelen, equivalent to mom(me) mum1 + -elen-le; compare Dutch mommelen,German mummeln

synonym study For mumble

See murmur.

Opposites for mumble

Other words from mumble

  • mumbler, noun
  • mum·bling·ly, adverb
  • half-mumbled, adjective
  • un·mum·bled, adjective
  • un·mum·bling, adjective

Words Nearby mumble Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use mumble in a sentence

  • Pausing at the threshold before opening the door, the sonorous mumble sounding through the deal panels misled me.

  • The blows of the ax, off in the chaparral, were louder in their ears now, and they could hear a mumble of voices.

    Motor Matt's "Century" Run | Stanley R. Matthews
  • Bristow made no comment on this, and Mattie, turning slowly away from him, began to mumble something.

    The Winning Clue | James Hay, Jr.
  • Inside45 the parlor could be heard the mumble of men's voices.

    Wayside Courtships | Hamlin Garland
  • She waited until he answered, in an indistinct mumble, that he did not know.

    Colonial Born | G. Firth Scott

British Dictionary definitions for mumble


/ (ˈmʌmbəl) /

  1. to utter indistinctly, as with the mouth partly closed; mutter

  2. rare to chew (food) ineffectually or with difficulty

  1. an indistinct or low utterance or sound

Origin of mumble

C14 momelen, from mum ²

Derived forms of mumble

  • mumbler, noun
  • mumbling, adjective
  • mumblingly, adverb

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