gar·​ru·​lous ˈger-ə-ləs How to pronounce garrulous (audio)
 also  ˈger-yə-
: given to prosy, rambling, or tedious loquacity : pointlessly or annoyingly talkative
: wordy sense 1
garrulous speeches
garrulously adverb
garrulousness noun

Did you know?

Garrulous is a 17th century Latin borrowing that has its origin in garrīre, meaning "to chatter, talk rapidly." That Latin root is probably imitative in origin—that is, it was coined to imitate what it refers to. English has a number of words that are imitative in origin, among them several others that describe ways of talking, such as babble and chatter.

Choose the Right Synonym for garrulous

talkative, loquacious, garrulous, voluble mean given to talk or talking.

talkative may imply a readiness to engage in talk or a disposition to enjoy conversation.

a talkative neighbor

loquacious suggests the power of expressing oneself articulately, fluently, or glibly.

a loquacious spokesperson

garrulous implies prosy, rambling, or tedious loquacity.

garrulous traveling companions

voluble suggests a free, easy, and unending loquacity.

a voluble raconteur

Examples of garrulous in a Sentence

Salman grew ever more garrulous as the yellow liquid in the bottle went down; Baal couldn't recall when he'd last heard anyone talk up such a storm. Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses, 1989
To an American reader in 1982, confronted with this garrulous, indefatigably quirky, I'm-just-typing-on-yellow-paper-and-associating-ideas-and-memories prose work of 1936, such a judgment, by a presumably informed person, seems preposterous. Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times Book Review, 3 Oct. 1982
He was not garrulous by any means. On the contrary, there was a fine reserve in his manner toward the entire domestic economy of his life which was all that is comprehended by the popular term, gentlemanly. Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie, 1900
He became more garrulous after drinking a couple of beers. a garrulous boy who was in constant trouble for talking out of turn
Recent Examples on the Web These include the return of Teresa’s shady father Philippe, a mass murder at Teresa’s convent and the arrival of a garrulous young artist (Matthew Beard) who wants to paint his vineyard. Lili Loofbourow, Washington Post, 22 Jan. 2024 The idea was to capture the garrulous energy of Streisand’s cabaret act, which was one of the hottest tickets in town. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, 14 Nov. 2023 Not that the players were so garrulous in winning, either. Dave Eggers, The Atlantic, 12 Aug. 2023 Though the movie is talkative, at times even garrulous, its very subject is silence—the silence imposed by intolerance. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 4 Aug. 2023 The president is garrulous and extroverted, while the king is more contemplative and reserved. Mark Landler, New York Times, 10 July 2023 The garrulous former Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman is in his element at summits abroad, and speaks of how his background in international policy is proof positive that decades of experience on the world stage has mattered for the presidency. Seung Min Kim, Chris Megerian and Jari Tanner, Anchorage Daily News, 13 July 2023 Ahmad Wali Sarhadi, a garrulous journalist, evacuates to Germany. Stephen Humphries, The Christian Science Monitor, 20 June 2023 Our energy is burning brightly as the Moon flies through garrulous Leo, lending a touch of excitement to everything. Tarot Astrologers, Chicago Tribune, 31 Mar. 2023 See More

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

Word History


borrowed from Latin garrulus, from garrīre "to chatter, talk rapidly" (probably of imitative origin) + -ulus, deverbal suffix denoting inclination or repetitive action (going back to Indo-European -l-, participial suffix) — more at -ous

Note: For possible relation to a proposed Indo-European base *ǵeh2r-, see care entry 1.

First Known Use

circa 1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of garrulous was circa 1611


Dictionary Entries Near garrulous

Cite this Entry

“Garrulous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


gar·​ru·​lous ˈgar-ə-ləs How to pronounce garrulous (audio)
: overly talkative
garrulously adverb
garrulousness noun

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