Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

garble

play
verb gar·ble \ˈgär-bəl\

Simple Definition of garble

  • : to cause (a word, name, message, etc.) to be unclear or confusing

Full Definition of garble

gar·bledgar·bling play \-b(ə-)liŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 archaic :  cull 1

  3. 2 :  to sift impurities from

  4. 3 a :  to so alter or distort as to create a wrong impression or change the meaning <garble a story> b :  to introduce textual error into (a message) by inaccurate encipherment, transmission, or decipherment

gar·bler play \-b(ə-)lər\ noun

Examples of garble

  1. <the candidate complained that his views had been deliberately garbled by his opponent>

  2. <garbled spices are less likely to contaminate a recipe>



Origin of garble

Middle English garbelen, from Old Italian garbellare to sift, from Arabic gharbala, from Late Latin cribellare, from cribellum sieve; akin to Latin cernere to sift — more at certain


First Known Use: 15th century

Rhymes with garble


2

garble

noun gar·ble

Definition of garble

  1. 1 :  the impurities removed from spices in sifting

  2. 2 :  an act or an instance of garbling



1502

First Known Use of garble

1502


GARBLE Defined for Kids

garble

play
verb gar·ble \ˈgär-bəl\

Definition of garble

gar·bledgar·bling

  1. :  to change or twist the meaning or sound of <He garbled the message.>



History for garble

At first the word garble meant “to sift” or “to sort or pick out.” If you pick out a few misleading parts of a message and report only those parts, you distort the message, and so garble came to mean “to distort.” It is the meaning “sift,” however, that reflects the origin of garble. The English word garble came from an old Italian verb garbellare that meant “to sift.” This word came in turn from an Arabic word gharbala that meant “sieve.” The Arabs took this word ultimately from a Latin word cribellum that meant “sieve.”



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up garble? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders spindrift duvet pince-nez
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ