• synonyms


[gahr-buh l]
verb (used with object), gar·bled, gar·bling.
  1. to confuse unintentionally or ignorantly; jumble: to garble instructions.
  2. to make unfair or misleading selections from or arrangement of (fact, statements, writings, etc.); distort: to garble a quotation.
  3. Archaic. to take out the best of.
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  1. the act or process of garbling.
  2. an instance of garbling; a garbled phrase, literary passage, etc.
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Origin of garble

1400–50; late Middle English garbelen to remove refuse from spices < Old Italian garbellare to sift < Arabic gharbala < Late Latin crībellāre, derivative of crībellum, diminutive of Latin crībrum sieve (see -elle); probably influenced by garboil
Related formsgar·ble·a·ble, adjectivegar·bler, nounun·gar·bled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ungarbled

Historical Examples

  • A good edition should be a complete edition, ungarbled and unabridged.'

    The Book-Hunter at Home

    P. B. M. Allan

  • A good edition should be a complete edition, ungarbled and unabridged.

    The Private Library

    Arthur L. Humphreys

  • The ungarbled for lesse, with directions how to use the same.

  • We have given the foregoing documents, full and ungarbled, that our readers might fairly judge for themselves.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus

    American Anti-Slavery Society

  • If one would have a message go sound and ungarbled, does one choose traitors and tricksters to send it by?

British Dictionary definitions for ungarbled


verb (tr)
  1. to jumble (a story, quotation, etc), esp unintentionally
  2. to distort the meaning of (an account, text, etc), as by making misleading omissions; corrupt
  3. rare to select the best part of
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    1. the act of garbling
    2. garbled matter
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Derived Formsgarbler, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Old Italian garbellare to strain, sift, from Arabic gharbala, from ghirbāl sieve, from Late Latin crībellum small sieve, from crībrum sieve
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 ungarbled



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper