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

According to reporters, the second-year Vols coach spent the first 21 minutes of his allotted 30 minutes at the podium rambling through his opening statement to avoid taking questions. Charlotte Carroll, SI.com, "Jeremy Pruitt Spends SEC Media Day Talking for 21 Minutes Straight to Delay Questioning," 16 July 2019 So the Nixons spent two weeks rambling through Mexico and eating randomly, sometimes pork and beans for breakfast, sometimes grapefruit slices for dinner. Christopher Reynolds, latimes.com, "On this vacation, ask yourself: What would Nixon do? Beyoncé? Anthony Bourdain?," 20 June 2019 Earlier, his answer on health care and undocumented immigrants could most charitably be described as rambling. Aric Chokey, sun-sentinel.com, "How did the Democratic candidates do in their first round of debates? We rated them.," 28 June 2019 This adventure is an ale and lager-fueled journey on a historic steam locomotive, rambling along the scenic Animas River. Monica Parpal Stockbridge, The Know, "5 summer adventures crafted around craft beer," 12 June 2019 Darius has been listening to me ramble, but now he’s done listening. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: Hit hard and carry a big chip — Colts LB Darius Leonard will never be satisfied," 11 June 2019 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 Once Ava has learned to cook and, oddly, once the title character is born, the book rambles less purposefully, feeling more like an assortment of stories than the flowing narrative of Bragg’s earlier memoirs. Rebekah Denn, The Christian Science Monitor, "'The Best Cook in the World' is Rick Bragg's tribute to his mother and her somewhat exotic culinary skills," 25 Apr. 2018 Now my mother is making over the garden in rambling color, overwriting its history, once again, with olive trees, a fig, kitchen herbs, and a jacaranda. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Walking Through the Past Into New Motherhood," 10 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Because that may be his first thought of the moment or his first ramble or his first raving. NBC News, "Meet the Press - August 25, 2019," 25 Aug. 2019 He’s written his share of memorable melodies, and the loose, countrified ramble of his band’s records provides plenty to appreciate on a purely musical level. Mark Richardson, WSJ, "‘Purple Mountains’ Review: A Poet of Comic Desperation," 10 July 2019 The place to start your rambles is King Street, which begins at the Potomac River waterfront and extends for some 5 miles, although most of the 160 shops and restaurants are along a 1-mile stretch close to the river. Patti Nickell, Dallas News, "History comes to life in vibrant Alexandria, Va.," 30 July 2019 The shaded wrap-around porch is a lovely spot to sip a hazy IPA and take a brisket break on a summer ramble down Highway 1. Sunset Staff, Sunset Magazine, "Pull This Pork, Dip That Chip, and 5 More Things to See & Do This Week," 29 July 2019 The place to start your rambles is King Street, which begins at the Potomac River waterfront and extends for some five miles, although most of the 160 shops and restaurants are along a one-mile stretch close to the river. Patti Nickell, chicagotribune.com, "Near the nation’s capital, Alexandria offers history come to vibrant life," 1 July 2019 Three via ferratas race along the cliffs in the 123-square-mile Saguenay Fjords National Park, including La Grande Dalle, a 656-foot-high ramble across a gigantic vertical slab. The Editors, Outside Online, "The Best Road Trips in North America," 10 June 2019 Our splendid ramble traces the southern edge of Ennerdale Water, the park’s most westerly lake—and one of its most remote. National Geographic, "Hiking England Coast to Coast," 12 June 2019 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

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

7 Sep 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

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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