verb (used without object), mum·bled, mum·bling.

to speak in a low indistinct manner, almost to an unintelligible extent; mutter.
to chew ineffectively, as from loss of teeth: to mumble on a crust.

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

to say or utter indistinctly, as with partly closed lips: He mumbled something about expenses.
to chew, or try to eat, with difficulty, as from loss of teeth.


a low, indistinct utterance or sound.

Nearby words

  1. multure,
  2. mum,
  3. mum's the word,
  4. mum-and-dad investor,
  5. mumbai,
  6. mumblety-peg,
  7. mumbletypeg,
  8. mumbo jumbo,
  9. mumchance,
  10. mumetal

Origin of mumble

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

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

Examples from the Web for mumbling

British Dictionary definitions for mumbling



to utter indistinctly, as with the mouth partly closed; mutter
rare to chew (food) ineffectually or with difficulty


an indistinct or low utterance or sound
Derived Formsmumbler, nounmumbling, adjectivemumblingly, adverb

Word Origin for mumble

C14 momelen, from mum ²

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 mumbling
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper