mum·​ble ˈməm-bəl How to pronounce mumble (audio)
mumbled; mumbling ˈməm-b(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce mumble (audio)

intransitive verb

: to utter words in a low confused indistinct manner : mutter

transitive verb

: to utter with a low inarticulate voice
: to chew or bite with or as if with toothless gums
mumble noun
mumbler noun
mumbly adjective

Examples of mumble in a Sentence

He mumbled something and then left. He mumbled “Goodbye” and then left. I can't understand you when you mumble.
Recent Examples on the Web What now, Canada? … After Roger Goodell fumbled/mumbled away Jim Trotter’s question during last year’s Super Bowl press conference, Roger’s song and dance will be invitation only (or, for those who can’t say no). Nick Canepa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Feb. 2024 Then, with their mouths still full of chocolate from the reenactment, the actresses mumbled their way through the announcement of the winner for outstanding comedy series: The Bear. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 16 Jan. 2024 The crowd mumbles and boos, showing why Christie remains an afterthought for many GOP voters. Tim Hanrahan, WSJ, 7 Dec. 2023 By the time officers arrived, Armenta had fallen to the ground in front of a gas station and was mumbling to himself. Caleb Lunetta, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Nov. 2023 The man then makes his final move as his buddy behind the camera mumbles inaudibly. Dac Collins, Outdoor Life, 26 Oct. 2023 Men are lifting heavy boxes, mumbling, grunting, laughing quietly. Sallie Tisdale, Harper's Magazine, 16 Oct. 2023 The audience mumbled and chuckled nervously at its conclusion with the sense that Wolfram may have just casually rewritten all of physics and science before their eyes, as relayed by an audience member sitting nearby. Benj Edwards, Ars Technica, 18 Oct. 2023 When the question of ethics arose, the panelists mumbled uncomfortably and passed the mike. Dana Goodyear, The New Yorker, 2 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle English momelen, of imitative origin

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of mumble was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near mumble

Cite this Entry

“Mumble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
mumbled; mumbling
: to speak softly and unclearly
: to eat with or as if with toothless gums
a baby mumbling its food


2 of 2 noun
: speech that is not clear enough to be understood

More from Merriam-Webster on mumble

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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