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

Definition of mumble

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

1 : to utter with a low inarticulate voice
2 : to chew or bite with or as if with toothless gums

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Other Words from mumble

mumble noun
mumbler \ ˈməm-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce mumbler (audio) \ noun
mumbly \ ˈməm-​b(ə-​)lē How to pronounce mumbly (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for mumble


chunter [British], grunt, mouth, murmur, mutter


speak out, speak up

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

When asked about his lack of footwear, the man mumbled unintelligibly and smelled of an alcoholic beverage, according to police. Bruce Geiselman,, "Drunken driving crash suspect leaves bumper behind: North Olmsted Police Blotter," 21 July 2019 Since then he's been a fixture at the makeshift memorial, crying on his knees, staring at the cross, mumbling things to his wife. Dallas News, "A grieving man’s cry for support draws people from all over to mourn El Paso massacre victim," 17 Aug. 2019 The Georgian dictator of the Soviet Union had a noticeable accent and is said to have mumbled his case-endings. The Economist, "Why widely spoken languages have simpler grammar," 8 Aug. 2019 Her two friends, Deepak Singh and Rajesh Kumar, are equally flummoxed and mumble something gleaned long ago from history textbooks. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "The average young Indian’s view on the Kargil War is shaped by Bollywood and nationalism," 25 July 2019 The taciturn lawman mumbled his responses and frequently asked the representatives to repeat their questions, leading to speculation that the 74-year-old had lost a step. Jess Bidgood,, "In refusing to join the partisan fray, Mueller may have intensified it," 24 July 2019 White sat on the bed, his head resting against the frame, while his brother sat on the other end by the TV, mumbling commands into a headset for the fantasy video game Fortnite. Ava Kofman, ProPublica, "Digital Jail: How Electronic Monitoring Drives Defendants Into Debt," 3 July 2019 Kina, self-conscious about his English, would speak softly in class, almost mumbling. Jan Goldsmith, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Someone San Diego Should Know: Levai Kina," 10 June 2019 Majed walked over to his cot mumbling exclamations of surprise. Leila Aboulela, Harper's magazine, "Whisky Lullaby," 10 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mumble.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of mumble

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for mumble

Middle English momelen, of imitative origin

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Dictionary Entries near mumble


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Statistics for mumble

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for mumble

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

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More Definitions for mumble



English Language Learners Definition of mumble

: to say (something) quietly in an unclear way that makes it difficult for people to know what you said


mum·​ble | \ ˈməm-bəl How to pronounce mumble (audio) \
mumbled; mumbling

Kids Definition of mumble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to speak softly so that words are not clear



Kids Definition of mumble (Entry 2 of 2)

: speech that is not clear enough to be understood

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More from Merriam-Webster on mumble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mumble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mumble

Spanish Central: Translation of mumble

Nglish: Translation of mumble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mumble for Arabic Speakers

Comments on mumble

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


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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