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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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

Verb She rambled for several minutes before introducing the main speaker. He's funny, but he tends to ramble. Noun 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 The Browns were down 14-0 when Nick Chubb rambled 33 yards for a TD, breaking at least two tackles. Terry Pluto, cleveland, "Cleveland Browns defense savaged for 299 yards, offense not much better," 15 Dec. 2019 Now that Listen To Your Heart is rambling towards its finale, host Chris Harrison wants only the strongest couples to survive. Martha Sorren, refinery29.com, "Here’s How Much Of The Bachelor: Listen To Your Heart Journey Is Left," 4 May 2020 Rehnquist also suggested holding answers to 5 minutes each, a brisk goal in a chamber where debate sometimes rambles for hours. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "Next in the Trump impeachment trial: 16 hours of questions. How that will work," 29 Jan. 2020 Jarwin, who has scored five of his six career touchdowns against the Giants, rambled most of the 42 yards on the score to get Dallas within 12-10 with :52 left in the half. Tom Canavan, courant.com, "Giants fade late, fall to Cowboys again," 4 Nov. 2019 Inside the rambling, rustic-chic house, billionaire Kenneth Fisher has deployed a division of his mostly young, mostly male acolytes on a single, high-pressure mission: sell. Sabrina Willmer, Los Angeles Times, "Inside Ken Fisher’s investment kingdom, where the pace and the talk can be rough," 22 Oct. 2019 Lucy brought her own touch to Bryan’s rambling country house in the Sussex countryside, embowered in magical gardens created by Clough Williams-Ellis in the years following the First World War. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Hamish Bowles Remembers Lucy Birley, Who Has Died at 58," 25 July 2018 In his clues package, Rottweiler rambles on about being insecure and needing to meditate every day. Robbie Daw, Billboard, "'The Masked Singer' Recap: Tree Gets Chopped," 11 Dec. 2019 Then, Oregon’s Jonathan Stewart rambles 48 yards to set up Oregon for field goal attempt of its own. oregonlive, "Reliving the 10 best Civil War football games since 2000," 26 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This charming ramble follows just seven of them, including Sari (dubbed the Hustler), Bengu (the Lover), and Duman (the Gentleman). Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, "Love animals? Hate Tiger King? Here are five documentaries to watch," 6 Apr. 2020 But there’s another strain of humor here, a sort of deadpan ramble, anticipating the later comic novels of Charles Portis, which draw laughs by cutting off a seemingly limitless series of observations at an unexpected point. Ed Park, The New York Review of Books, "Like No One They’d Ever Seen," 8 Apr. 2020 Walk under cherry blossoms that are in full bloom, take a leisurely ramble around the 2.2-acre Lay Family Garden filled with perennials and a Grotto complete with a waterfall and koi pond. Melissa Locker, Southern Living, "Flower Power! See the Tulips Blooming at the Dallas Arboretum With a Virtual Tour," 7 Apr. 2020 What made his ramble through New York so beguiling — besides the sheer feat of his feet — were the serendipitous encounters and discoveries of offbeat corners of city life. Joseph Berger, New York Times, "William Helmreich, Sociologist and a Walker in the City, Dies at 74," 30 Mar. 2020 Yet there’s a way in which their girl-group identity seems reimagined for the twenty-first century—freed from the confines of tight matching dresses and set loose for a casual ramble through the city. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, "Dancing with HAIM," 26 Dec. 2019 Airbnb made my three-week ramble through Spain easier and better. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: One can be thankful for much even amid pessimism," 1 Dec. 2019 That included a 45-yard jaunt that set up the third Irish touchdown and a 53-yard ramble in the fourth quarter. Mike Berardino, Indianapolis Star, "Ian Book, Chris Finke lead Notre Dame to 38-7 win over Duke," 10 Nov. 2019 So Kittle caught all eight passes thrown his way, for 103 yards, including a tackle-busting 45 yard ramble early in the second quarter. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Unbeaten 49ers have that 2014 Warriors feel about them," 13 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for ramble

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for ramble

Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ramble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ramble. Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for ramble


How to pronounce ramble (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ramble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ramble

Spanish Central: Translation of ramble

Nglish: Translation of ramble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ramble for Arabic Speakers

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