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

Of course, people gathered around mumbling about these expert observers. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Read Alan Simpson's Full Eulogy Honoring George H.W. Bush," 5 Dec. 2018 My sincerest apologies for the agony and mumble-cursing that undoubtedly ensued. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Amazon’s New Part Finder Tool Takes Care Of The Most Annoying Part Of Any DIY Project," 27 July 2018 Awesome,’’ Simmonds mumbled through a swollen mouth vacated of front teeth. Sam Donnellon,, "Maturing kids could make Flyers dangerous in playoffs | Sam Donnellon," 18 Mar. 2018 There’s also a lot of dull hopping and racing and mumbling — whereas Beatle ad-libs were witty before, now everyone just sounds stoned out of his mind. Jordan Hoffman, New York Times, "Where to Stream the Best, and the Most Ridiculous, of the Beatles on Film," 9 July 2018 Down the street, a wild-eyed man sunk into a rolling chair on the sidewalk, shrieking and mumbling. Emily Alpert Reyes,, "Garcetti says L.A. can resume disputed ban on overnight sidewalk sleeping," 22 June 2018 When his words were mumbled on the phone, his family realized something was wrong. Becky Jacobs, Post-Tribune, "Event to benefit Highland police officer, 36, who suffered a stroke," 19 June 2018 In 2009, police pulled over a slow-moving and mumbling Alexander in southeast D.C., where officers smelled PCP coming from his car. Sean Rossman, USA TODAY, "Strangers come together to try to save USA TODAY reporter Oren Dorell in deadly hit-and-run," 15 June 2018 Gone were the terrifying moans and mumbled nonsense. Jodie Briggs, Longreads, "Growing Up Around Funeral Homes Didn’t Prepare Me for Death," 27 Mar. 2018

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


mum's the word






Statistics for mumble

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

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).


a strong desire or propensity

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