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

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. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "A tick gave a toddler a rare and deadly disease. Here’s what his parents want you to know.," 4 June 2019 Although calling it a garden is perhaps an understatement: the green space includes a treehouse with a rope swing, a babbling brook, trees, shrubs, and edible flora. Vogue, "The Sweet Surprise in Kate Middleton’s Chelsea Flower Show Garden," 20 May 2019 So 90 percent of my life off-camera is babbling nonsense, right? Fox News, "Maxine Waters renews calls to impeach President Trump," 11 Sep. 2018 Cunningham himself plays Johnny, a boy locked in a dark basement with a Chihuahua who is seen babbling while being interviewed. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "Supreme and Chris Cunningham have released an Aphex Twin-inspired collection," 11 Nov. 2018 Amid this picture-postcard setting—windswept rock cliffs, babbling brook—with the sound of the waves gently lapping against the shore in the background, finding a place of mental stillness is a lot less challenging. Chioma Nnadi, Vogue, "Can the New Hermès Apple Watch Actually Help You Unplug?," 19 Nov. 2018 There was Lilah, initiating a joyous game of peekaboo at 6 months, while her sister, then 3, sat on the floor babbling phrases from books and TV shows. Jennifer Rabiner*, Redbook, ""Why Don't I Like My Own Child?"," 10 Nov. 2016 His fever was soaring, and he was curled up in the corner experiencing what seemed like hallucinations, babbling incoherently. Lindsey Vehlewald, SELF, "We Never Got Flu Shots. Then the Flu Almost Killed My Husband," 9 Nov. 2018 Better yet, spend the night at a local inn, which is likely snuggled up to a babbling brook or farmstead. Kaitlyn Wylde, Vogue, "What’s So Great About Great Barrington? A Weekend Guide to the Quietly Cool Berkshire Town," 25 Oct. 2018

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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Statistics for babble

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for babble

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

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More Definitions for babble



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with babble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for babble

Spanish Central: Translation of babble

Nglish: Translation of babble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of babble for Arabic Speakers

Comments on babble

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incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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