bab·​ble | \ ˈba-bəl How to pronounce babble (audio) \
babbled; babbling\ ˈba-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce babbling (audio) \

Definition of babble

intransitive verb

1a : to talk enthusiastically or excessively
b : to utter meaningless or unintelligible sounds
2 : to make sounds as though babbling

transitive verb

1 : to utter in an incoherently or meaninglessly repetitious manner
2 : to reveal by talk that is too free

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Other Words from babble

babble noun
babblement \ ˈba-​bəl-​mənt How to pronounce babblement (audio) \ noun
babbler \ ˈba-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce babbler (audio) \ noun

Examples of babble in a Sentence

Pay no attention to her. She's just babbling. He'll babble on about sports all night if you let him. Her cousins were babbling in an unfamiliar dialect.
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Recent Examples on the Web In 2018, Kuhl and Raminez published a study that showed when parents were coached in parentese, their babies babbled more and had more words by 14 months than those who were not trained. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "'Parentese,' not traditional baby talk, boosts a baby's language development," 3 Feb. 2020 Sanad alternated effortlessly between babbling baby talk to his cousin Salma and cracking jokes with the adults. Washington Post, "Your baby bump photos terrify me. Here’s why.," 2 Aug. 2019 But there's more than just babbling curtains of water: The majestic abode also features updated interior with a Rumford-style fireplace, a chef’s kitchen and pantry with extended cooking area, a 566-square-foot guest suite, and a pool. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "North Carolina Mountain Home with Waterfall Running Through the Yard Hits Market for $1,199,000," 20 Nov. 2019 Police body-camera video shows the team formed a semi-circle around Terri, moving in closer as Terri babbled angrily about her allegiance to the devil., "Police shootings in Arizona," 22 Oct. 2019 This process of vocal learning is remarkably similar to how humans learn language: Babies listen to their parents speaking and then practice making the same sounds by babbling. Cristina Robinson, The Conversation, "Complex birdsongs help biologists piece together the evolution of lifelong learning," 3 Sep. 2019 Complete with digitally rendered googly eyes, the carnivorous plant babbles about the necessity of composting humans if an ecological collapse is to be avoided. J.w.s.w. | Berlin, The Economist, "The variegated symbolism of gardens in art," 1 Aug. 2019 Jackson, who once loved babbling and singing and calling for the family dog, had stopped communicating, other than to hold his head in his tiny hands and cry, his mother said., "What is Rocky Mountain spotted fever? Ticks spread rare, deadly disease," 3 June 2019 Tiny bridges, babbling streams, weeping willows and koi fish are integrated into the hillside in the most storybook of ways. Ed Droste, Vogue, "Stargazing in Tokyo and Glamping Near Mt. Fuji: Ed Droste’s Epic Japan Travel Diary," 28 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'babble.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of babble

13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for babble

Middle English babelen, probably of imitative origin

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Time Traveler for babble

Time Traveler

The first known use of babble was in the 13th century

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Statistics for babble

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Babble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for babble


How to pronounce babble (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of babble

: to talk foolishly or too much
: to make speech sounds that do not make sense to the hearer
: to make the quiet sound of water flowing over rocks


bab·​ble | \ ˈba-bəl How to pronounce babble (audio) \
babbled; babbling\ ˈba-​bə-​liŋ , ˈba-​bliŋ \

Kids Definition of babble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make meaningless sounds The baby babbled in his crib.
2 : to talk foolishly
3 : to make the sound of a brook



Kids Definition of babble (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : talk that is not clear
2 : the sound of a brook

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More from Merriam-Webster on babble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for babble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with babble

Spanish Central: Translation of babble

Nglish: Translation of babble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of babble for Arabic Speakers

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