ram·​ble | \ˈram-bəl \
rambled; rambling\ˈram-​b(ə-​)liŋ \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from ramble


ramblingly \ˈram-​b(ə-​)liŋ-​lē \ adverb

Synonyms for ramble

Synonyms: Verb

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

Synonyms: Noun

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There is a food scene, a creative community, and a historic downtown perfect for long, lazy rambles—in addition to all those other mountain thrills that have brought visitors to this region for decades. Todd Plummer, Vogue, "Why Bay Area Residents Are Flocking to Truckee, California—And You Should Too," 11 Dec. 2018 Three steps are easy to remember and can help get your points across without rambling. Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, "How to Overcome Your Terror of Making an Off-the-Cuff Speech," 3 Dec. 2018 At his bizarre, rambling post-election press conference Wednesday morning Trump went back to this and floated the idea of an infrastructure deal several times. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "House Democrats must resist Trump’s infrastructure trap," 9 Nov. 2018 The scope of this book ranges and rambles engagingly, from the potential impact of climate change on the game and the influence of social media on players, to the evolving fashions of player uniforms and hair styles. Paul Dickson, WSJ, "‘Power Ball’ Review: Diamond Science," 11 Oct. 2018 The house was a big, rambling Victorian with several doors. Dana Mcmahan, The Courier-Journal, "A good Airbnb host always learns from others. Here are 6 tips," 31 May 2018 The 10th annual Joan of Arc foot (and hoof) parade rambled through the French Quarter to begin the Mardi Gras 2018 season on Saturday (January 6). Doug Maccash, NOLA.com, "Joan of Arc parade said happy birthday to the saint. Were you there?," 7 Jan. 2018 After his arrest, police found a long rambling note by Romano at his home. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "In 2004, he walked into school with a shotgun. Today he weighs in on Parkland," 5 Mar. 2018 The story rambles from the frothing millionaires rushing to buy trendy works at Art Basel Miami Beach to the cozy casitas of Hialeah to the strip clubs of Sunny Isles. Connie Ogle, miamiherald, "Tom Wolfe tells us just how crazy we are | Miami Herald," 10 Nov. 2012

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 That included an excellent excursion led by the rental and tour service Lima Bike to a hilltop observatory at the south end of the city, plus an independent ramble with my partner during the Ciclovía. John Greenfield, Chicago Reader, "Lima’s beautiful boulevard bike paths could be a hit in Chicago," 26 Mar. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ramble

Statistics for ramble

Last Updated

14 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ramble

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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)

: 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 \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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


a typical or ideal example

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!