verb gar·ble \ˈgär-bəl\

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

gar·bledgar·bling \-b(ə-)liŋ\

Full Definition of GARBLE

transitive verb
archaic :  cull 1
:  to sift impurities from
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 \-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



Definition of GARBLE

:  the impurities removed from spices in sifting
:  an act or an instance of garbling

First Known Use of GARBLE

GARBLED Defined for Kids


verb gar·ble \ˈgär-bəl\

Definition of GARBLE for Kids

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

Word History of 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.


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