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bab·​bling ˈba-b(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce babbling (audio)
: 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
: the production of meaningless strings of speech sounds by infants
Babbling usually coincides with the beginning of one-handed reaching and rhythmic hand activity.M. R. Hiller


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

Examples of babbling in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Think of that situation as a never-ending babbling brook. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 29 Feb. 2024 Especially in the sweltering summer months, the babbling brooks and springs were a cooling reprieve, drawing road-trippers from near and far as the only national park for hundreds of miles. Matt Kirouac, Travel + Leisure, 31 Dec. 2023 Jomo Fray’s camera basks in textures the same way the scenes are immersed in sounds, focusing on the child’s fingers caressing the fish scales or her hand running through the babbling creek. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Nov. 2023 This could include soothing sounds like cat purring, a crackling fireplace, rain, gentle waves, a babbling brook, whales, or a tumble dryer. Rachael Hogg, Better Homes & Gardens, 28 Oct. 2023 Depending on the information source, green noise is variously described as being like background noises in nature, the sound of rhythmic ocean waves or a babbling brook. Stacey Colino, Washington Post, 9 Oct. 2023 At other tables, other babies performed their own pantomimes of joy and misery, shrieking and babbling, breast-feeding, bottle-feeding, reaching for their parents’ steak knives and cocktail glasses. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 1 Oct. 2023 The 200-acre grounds sported babbling creeks, a deer park, an aquarium, stables, mock Roman ruins and a private telegraph system. Cooke had founded the first investment bank in the United States, Jay Cooke & Company, a decade earlier. Mickey Butts, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Sep. 2023 But for how often any kind of nighttime babbling occurs — studies suggest up to 20 percent of children and six percent of adults are frequent sleep talkers — many scientific mysteries remain, including exactly why sleep talking happens and its relationship to the talker’s dreams. Allison Whitten, Discover Magazine, 15 May 2021
The outdoors provide us with wide-ranging sensory stimulation: breathtaking, panoramic views; the dulcet sounds of babbling springs and sparkling birdsong; the satisfying crunch of twigs and pine needles beneath our feet. Heather Arndt Anderson, Sunset Magazine, 17 Jan. 2020 When Sarah and Justin Arrington bought a gorgeous parcel of land—complete with rolling hills, winding trails, and a babbling creek—their plans for a future forever home were intentional and hard-won. Lauren Helmer, al, 21 Mar. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'babbling.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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

Time Traveler
The first known use of babbling was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near babbling

Cite this Entry

“Babbling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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