ram·​ble | \ ˈram-bəl How to pronounce ramble (audio) \
rambled; rambling\ ˈram-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce rambling (audio) \

Definition of ramble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to move aimlessly from place to place rambled through the little town
b : to explore idly After one rambles through the maps for a time … some overall impressions begin to emerge.— John Noble Wilford
2a : to talk or write in an aimless, erratic, and often long-winded fashion The hunk starts to ramble on and on, and the women seem quite annoyed.Monk Magazine
b : to be related or written in a long-winded or wandering fashion a story that rambles
3 : to grow or extend irregularly To me, pea greens are the culinary equivalent of morning glories, sprouting overnight, rambling here and there, turning the grower into a shepherd, at least for the duration.— Molly O'Neill

transitive verb

: to wander over : roam



Definition of ramble (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a leisurely excursion for pleasure especially : an aimless walk
2 : a rambling story or discussion

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Synonyms for ramble

Synonyms: Verb

blather (on), go on, maunder, rattle, run on

Synonyms: Noun

excursion, jaunt, junket, outing, sally, sashay, sortie, spin

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Choose the Right Synonym for ramble


wander, roam, ramble, rove, traipse, meander mean to go about from place to place usually without a plan or definite purpose. wander implies an absence of or an indifference to a fixed course. fond of wandering about the square just watching the people roam suggests wandering about freely and often far afield. liked to roam through the woods ramble stresses carelessness and indifference to one's course or objective. the speaker rambled on without ever coming to the point rove suggests vigorous and sometimes purposeful roaming. armed brigands roved over the countryside traipse implies a course that is erratic but may sometimes be purposeful. traipsed all over town looking for the right dress meander implies a winding or intricate course suggestive of aimless or listless wandering. the river meanders for miles through rich farmland

Examples of ramble in a Sentence


She rambled for several minutes before introducing the main speaker. He's funny, but he tends to ramble.


We went for a ramble along the beach. He encountered many interesting people in his rambles in the country. The first chapter is a 100-page ramble. We had to listen to another one of his long rambles about politics and religion.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Back at the Firetower, Hopkins readied himself for another mountaintop ramble. Mark Rozzo, Town & Country, "Introducing Blackberry Mountain, the Idyllic New Resort from Blackberry Farm," 11 Feb. 2019 Though the speakers’ opinions are engrossing, no less so is the manner of expression of each one of them, from d’Alembert, who rambles on like a science-fiction-style mad scientist, to Mlle de Lespinasse, with her candid, searching questions. Dan Hofstadter, WSJ, "‘Diderot’ Review: Wherever His Mind Led Him," 15 Feb. 2019 Arthur Rathburn showed no remorse Tuesday during rambling remarks to a federal judge. Ed White, chicagotribune.com, "Man who peddled diseased body parts gets 9 years," 22 May 2018 Despite its recent growth in residential development, the area, with its rambling streets and historic buildings, retains a certain spookiness after hours that dovetails with de Vera's love of off-kilter antiquity. Nancy Hass, ELLE Decor, "The Perfect Setting," 6 Mar. 2012 Rando’s house is a rambling gray Victorian on Leavitt Street, just across the street from his old establishment. Johanna Seltz, BostonGlobe.com, "Still cutting, after all these years," 20 Apr. 2018 Truaxe continues to post sometimes rambling and incoherent posts on his own account. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "What the latest report on skin care company Deciem reveals about its troubled founder," 3 Dec. 2018 Retreat Hotel The Retreat Hotel is a rambling old pub in Brunswick that hosts free gigs every day of the week. Carrie Hutchinson, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Best Venues & Places for Live Music in Melbourne," 10 Sep. 2018 This blocklong dream palace named for their grandmother is a rambling all-day concept. Craig Laban, Philly.com, "Fishtown's Suraya is one of the most exciting new dining destinations of the year," 22 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This downtown ramble begins in NoHo, where three strong galleries cluster on Great Jones Street. Jason Farago, New York Times, "10 Galleries to Visit Now Around SoHo and TriBeCa," 26 Apr. 2018 If the streaming revolution is going to reduce every show to a plotless ramble through an alternate world, why not this one? Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 2 is a dazzling confection with a slightly bitter aftertaste," 5 Dec. 2018 Fortunately, the portion of the Sea Beach line the pair chose for their ramble has been closed to train traffic for station rehabilitation. Sarah Maslin Nir, The Seattle Times, "Not Your Average Subway Delay: Hungry Goats on the Tracks," 20 Aug. 2018 Flagstaff: Kachina Trail This high-country ramble delivers a big-mountain experience with no real climbing, bless its woodsy heart. Roger Naylor, azcentral, "10 best hikes in Arizona show off state's diverse scenery," 13 July 2018 British Car Day Fancy a ramble through ye olde park whilst perusing the finest motor cars from dear old Blighty? Luann Gibbs, Cincinnati.com, "Top 5 events in Cincinnati this weekend," 6 July 2018 The initial ramble of the movie, before things get dire, is brilliantly staged by Farhadi, who gently introduces a web of relationships without clunky exposition, while infusing the happy proceedings with a tantalizing hint of impending dread. Richard Lawson, HWD, "Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem Kick Off Cannes with Gloomy Melodrama," 9 May 2018 Most conversations are rambles, crossing varied territories that lead to surprising vistas. Mary Schmich, chicagotribune.com, "What did we talk about before we talked about Trump?," 20 Apr. 2018 After a ferry trip to Oakland, the not-yet-famous naturalist made his way on a 310-mile ramble; south to Gilroy, east through the Pacheco Pass, across the Central Valley, then into the Sierra. Debbie Arrington, sacbee, "They followed Muir's footsteps across California, then found his words to describe it | The Sacramento Bee," 1 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ramble.' 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 ramble


15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1639, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ramble


Middle English, probably alteration of romblen, frequentative of romen to roam

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Statistics for ramble

Last Updated

18 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ramble

The first known use of ramble was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for ramble



English Language Learners Definition of ramble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to walk or go from one place to another place without a specific goal, purpose, or direction
: to go from one subject to another without any clear purpose or direction



English Language Learners Definition of ramble (Entry 2 of 2)

chiefly British : a long walk for pleasure
: a long speech or piece of writing that goes from one subject to another without any clear purpose or direction


ram·​ble | \ ˈram-bəl How to pronounce ramble (audio) \
rambled; rambling

Kids Definition of ramble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to go aimlessly from place to place : wander She spent a year rambling around the country.
2 : to talk or write without a clear purpose or point
3 : to grow or extend in many directions a rambling vine



Kids Definition of ramble (Entry 2 of 2)

: a long stroll with no particular destination

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More from Merriam-Webster on ramble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ramble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ramble

Spanish Central: Translation of ramble

Nglish: Translation of ramble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ramble for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ramble

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highly pertinent or appropriate

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