ram·​bling ˈram-b(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce rambling (audio)
: proceeding without a specific goal, purpose, or direction: such as
: wandering about from one place to another
a rambling walk
: straying from subject to subject
a rambling essay/discussion/discourse
a rambling talker
His text is at times repetitious and rambling.Robert Howard
: stretching, spreading, or growing in a winding or irregular way
a rambling stream
rambling roses
: large and informally designed
a rambling farmhouse
… blue-tinged shots give the sinister prison … the air of a rambling edifice out of Dickens.Celia Wren
ramblingly adverb
a ramblingly told story

Examples of rambling in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Trump’s arrival was met with a standing ovation from the senators, but after Trump made his rambling remarks and departed the room, the Republican caucus burst out laughing. Edith Olmsted, The New Republic, 14 Sep. 2023 Before she was sentenced, St Cyr went on a rambling and odd 45-minute rant in the courtroom that covered a series of unrelated topics. Timothy Bella, Washington Post, 14 Sep. 2023 In March 2008, Muammar al-Qaddafi took the podium at an Arab League summit in Damascus to deliver one of his famously long-winded and rambling speeches. Mohamad Bazzi, Foreign Affairs, 21 Oct. 2011 Most candidates are unprepared and end up being boring, rambling or uncommunicative. Phil Blair, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Aug. 2023 In a rambling rant delivered through a translator, Saipov spent most of an hour talking about the creation of religions and how the devil was instrumental in the creation of the human population. Larry Neumeister, Chicago Tribune, 17 May 2023 McKay’s rambling spoken introductions — before every piece — were also amplified to the levels of a sports arena. Dallas News, 22 Feb. 2023 Pulling back from the dialogue-heavy skits that dominated De La’s first two albums allows Buhloone Mindstate to hang together as a rambling road trip, more introspective than the music industry critiques that would shape later albums. Al Shipley, SPIN, 16 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rambling.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1609, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of rambling was circa 1609

Dictionary Entries Near rambling

Cite this Entry

“Rambling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rambling. Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

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