1

babbling

noun bab·bling \ ˈba-b(ə-)liŋ \
Updated on: 15 Apr 2018

Definition of babbling

1 : idle, foolish, or nonsensical talk or chatter
  • … the … remarks would have been nothing short of treason, if they had not been so obviously the mere babblings of an irresponsible lunatic.
  • —P. G. Wodehouse
2 : the production of meaningless strings of speech sounds by infants
  • Hearing-impaired children are frequently delayed in babbling. Babbling usually coincides with the beginning of one-handed reaching and rhythmic hand activity.
  • —M. R. Hiller

Recent Examples of babbling from the Web

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

First Known Use of babbling

15th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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2

babbling

adjective

Definition of babbling

1 a : talking idly or foolishly
  • a babbling drunk
b : producing meaningless speech sounds
  • a babbling baby
2 : producing a quiet, continuous sound (such as the sound of flowing water)
  • a babbling brook

Recent Examples of babbling from the Web

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

First Known Use of babbling

13th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1a

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler


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