jab·​ber·​wocky | \ ˈja-bər-ˌwä-kē How to pronounce jabberwocky (audio) \

Definition of jabberwocky

: meaningless speech or writing

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

In a poem titled Jabberwocky in the book Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (1872), Lewis Carroll warned his readers about a frightful beast: Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch! This nonsensical poem caught the public's fancy, and by 1902 jabberwocky was being used as a generic term for meaningless speech or writing. The word bandersnatch has also seen some use as a general noun, with the meaning "a wildly grotesque or bizarre individual." It's a much rarer word than jabberwocky, though, and is entered only in our unabridged dictionary, Webster’s Third New International."

Examples of jabberwocky in a Sentence

when he gets angry, he talks in a sort of agitated jabberwocky that is really quite comical

First Known Use of jabberwocky

1902, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jabberwocky

Jabberwocky, nonsense poem by Lewis Carroll

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about jabberwocky

Listen to Our Podcast about jabberwocky

Dictionary Entries near jabberwocky







Jābir ibn Ḥayyān

Statistics for jabberwocky

Last Updated

5 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jabberwocky

The first known use of jabberwocky was in 1902

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on jabberwocky

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jabberwocky

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jabberwocky

Comments on jabberwocky

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


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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