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

Synonyms: Noun

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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 Georgia Tech needed no big rally to ramble into the Sweet 16. Jim Vertuno, Star Tribune, "No rally needed: Georgia Tech rolls over WVU 73-56 in NCAAs," 23 Mar. 2021 Afterward, as my daughter and I ramble across the park or duck out to the outdoor café for coffee and cake, there is the usual battery of questions and the subsequent retelling of the story. Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, "Hayao Miyazaki’s Viral Stories," 19 Nov. 2020 From camp, hike the six-mile round-trip trail to 2,458-foot Gaviota Peak in the Santa Ynez Mountains, or ramble the half-mile from the main trailhead for a soak in Gaviota Hot Springs. Megan Michelson, Outside Online, "6 Camping Destinations That Are Better in Winter," 14 Nov. 2020 On Thursday evening, Trump took to the White House briefing room to ramble a list of false claims about voter fraud and various grievances and, at one point, something about binoculars. James Hibberd, EW.com, "Trump lost the 2020 election in the most ironic way possible," 7 Nov. 2020 The whole Western world waned to sell the farm and ramble down Route 66 in one of these machines. Don Sherman, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1962 Chevrolet Corvette vs 1982 Chevrolet Corvette," 31 Aug. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Nothing in my nearly seven decades’ knowledge of Harvard (which started with preschool in 1952) prepared me for this lonely ramble. Daniel Pipes, WSJ, "The Future of U.S. Higher Education: A Few Stars, Many Satellites," 21 Mar. 2021 Cats are a perfectly adequate MacGuffin for this pleasant ramble through what philosophy can and can’t help us with. Washington Post, "We’ve been looking to philosophers to make sense of life. Maybe we should be looking at cats instead.," 24 Nov. 2020 But there is still time for an autumn ramble through the city. Carl Nolte, SFChronicle.com, "Walk with me — through old and new San Francisco," 31 Oct. 2020 The rest of the speech was a free-form ramble, as Trump careened from grievances to fear-mongering to goofiness. Joe Garofoli, SFChronicle.com, "Missing from Trump’s re-election pitch: What he’d do if he’s re-elected," 31 Oct. 2020 The galleries are big, neutral, and arranged to welcome a ramble or something more programmed and disciplined. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Manhattan’s MoMA, Welcoming Once Again, Seven Days a Week," 16 Sep. 2020 His accidental ramble into the Seven Dials neighborhood—then poor and troubled, now a dynamic and artsy neighborhood—was especially illuminating. Sara Georgini, Smithsonian Magazine, "The American Scion Who Secured British Neutrality in the U.S. Civil War," 16 Jan. 2020 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

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

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ramble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ramble. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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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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