verb (used without object), ram·bled, ram·bling.
  1. to wander around in a leisurely, aimless manner: They rambled through the shops until closing time.
  2. to take a course with many turns or windings, as a stream or path.
  3. to grow in a random, unsystematic fashion: The vine rambled over the walls and tree trunks.
  4. to talk or write in a discursive, aimless way (usually followed by on): The speaker rambled on with anecdote after anecdote.
verb (used with object), ram·bled, ram·bling.
  1. to walk aimlessly or idly over or through: They spent the spring afternoon rambling woodland paths.
  1. a walk without a definite route, taken merely for pleasure.

Origin of ramble

First recorded in 1610–20; origin uncertain

Synonyms for ramble

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for ramble on


verb (intr)
  1. to stroll about freely, as for relaxation, with no particular direction
  2. (of paths, streams, etc) to follow a winding course; meander
  3. (of plants) to grow in a random fashion
  4. (of speech, writing, etc) to lack organization
  1. a leisurely stroll, esp in the countryside

Word Origin for ramble

C17: probably related to Middle Dutch rammelen to roam (of animals); see ram
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 ramble on



mid-15c., perhaps frequentative of romen "to walk, go" (see roam), perhaps via romblen (late 14c.) "to ramble." The vowel change perhaps by influence of Middle Dutch rammelen, a derivative of rammen "copulate," "used of the night wanderings of the amorous cat" [Weekley]. Meaning "to talk or write incoherently" is from 1630s. Related: Rambled; rambling.



"a roving or wandering," 1650s, from ramble (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with ramble on

ramble on

Speak or write at length and with many digressions, as in As the speaker rambled on for at least two hours, the audience became restless. This idiom was first recorded in 1710.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.