[wawr-buh l]
See more synonyms for warble on Thesaurus.com
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.
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.
  1. a warbled song or succession of melodic trills, quavers, etc.
  2. the act of warbling.

Origin of warble

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

Related Words for warbling

chirp, trill, sing, chant, carol, quaver, melody, yodel

Examples from the Web for warbling

Contemporary Examples of warbling

Historical Examples of warbling

  • Very soon I heard a low, warbling sound which seemed quite near.

    Green Mansions

    W. H. Hudson

  • Above him all the birds were warbling their morning song up into the blue sky.

  • And whilst she was warbling the door of the salle opened and in walked Laurent.

    Despair's Last Journey

    David Christie Murray

  • The swans are warbling your name and so are half a dozen pesky Yankee Parrotts.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • It must be near to her: it was warbling there, perhaps she could grasp it with her hand.

    Debts of Honor

    Maurus Jkai

British Dictionary definitions for warbling


  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
  1. the act or an instance of warbling

Word Origin for warble

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
Derived Formswarbled, adjective

Word Origin for warble

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 warbling



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper