1

babbling

play
noun bab·bling \ ˈba-b(ə-)liŋ \

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

First Known Use of babbling

15th century


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



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up babbling? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

of yeast or being unsettled or frivolous

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!