• synonyms


[wawr-buh l]
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verb (used without object), war·bled, war·bling.
  1. to sing or whistle with trills, quavers, or melodic embellishments: The canary warbled most of the day.
  2. to yodel.
  3. (of electronic equipment) to produce a continuous sound varying regularly in pitch and frequency.
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verb (used with object), war·bled, war·bling.
  1. to sing (an aria or other selection) with trills, quavers, or melodious turns.
  2. to express or celebrate in or as if in song; carol.
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  1. a warbled song or succession of melodic trills, quavers, etc.
  2. the act of warbling.
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Origin of warble1

1300–50; Middle English werble a tune < Old North French < Germanic; compare Old High German werbel something that turns, equivalent to werb- (cognate with Old English hweorf- in hweorfan to turn) + -el noun suffix


[wawr-buh l]
noun Veterinary Pathology.
  1. a small, hard tumor on a horse's back, produced by the galling of the saddle.
  2. a lump in the skin of an animal's back, containing the larva of a warble fly.
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Origin of warble2

1575–85; origin uncertain; compare obsolete Swedish varbulde boil
Related formswar·bled, adjectiveun·war·bled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for warble

Historical Examples

  • Carol and warble are especially applied to the singing of birds.

    English Synonyms and Antonyms

    James Champlin Fernald

  • Who teaches the young chipper to trill, and the young linnet to warble?

    Birds in the Bush

    Bradford Torrey

  • He used to wake her in the morning with a kiss, and warble his little greeting.

    In a Cheshire Garden

    Geoffrey Egerton-Warburton

  • Some imitate the songs of other birds and warble very sweetly.

  • Her warble resembled that of the male, but was neither so strong nor so varied.

British Dictionary definitions for warble


  1. to sing (words, songs, etc) with trills, runs, and other embellishments
  2. (tr) to utter in a song
  3. US another word for yodel
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  1. the act or an instance of warbling
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Word Origin

C14: via Old French werbler from Germanic; compare Frankish hwirbilōn (unattested), Old High German wirbil whirlwind; see whirl


noun vet science
  1. a small lumpy abscess under the skin of cattle caused by infestation with larvae of the warble fly
  2. a hard tumorous lump of tissue on a horse's back, caused by prolonged friction of a saddle
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Derived Formswarbled, adjective

Word Origin

C16: of uncertain origin
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 warble


c.1300, from Old North French werbler "to sing with trills and quavers," from Frankish *werbilon (cf. Old High German wirbil "whirlwind," German Wirbel "whirl, whirlpool, tuning peg, vertebra," Middle Dutch wervelen "to turn, whirl"); see whirl. The noun meaning "tune, melody" is recorded from c.1300. Related: Warbled; warbling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper