scrib·​ble | \ˈskri-bəl \
scribbled; scribbling\ ˈskri-​b(ə-​)liŋ \

Definition of scribble 

transitive verb

1 : to write hastily or carelessly without regard to legibility or form

2 : to cover with careless or worthless writings or drawings

intransitive verb

: to write or draw hastily and carelessly

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Other Words from scribble

scribble noun

Synonyms for scribble


author, pen, scratch (out), write

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Examples of scribble in a Sentence

She scribbled a note to him and then dashed off to her meeting. He scribbled down his phone number. Students scribbled furiously as the professor lectured. She was scribbling away in a notebook. The toddler scribbled all over the paper.
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Recent Examples on the Web

First, and most noticeably, Meghan has cleaned up her signature considerably, taking it from celebrity autography scribble to perfectly legible royal scrawl. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Has Stopped Signing Her Last Name Since Marrying Prince Harry," 6 Oct. 2018 Bernstein had already scribbled a bit of music on a napkin in the Russian Tea Room. Jeremy Eichler,, "Tanglewood opens with Bernstein’s exuberance, Lang Lang’s return," 8 July 2018 Where a human driver would try to pick a line and stay on it throughout a corner, the self-steering Audi twitches its wheel with high-frequency corrections, scribbling a sine wave of small inputs. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "I Raced a Self-Driving Audi To Defend Humanity's Honor," 17 Nov. 2015 Most people can relate to scribbling someone's name on their notebook and using a mutual friend to pass along a profession of love. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, ""To All the Boys I've Loved Before" Starring Lana Condor Trailer Released by Netflix," 21 June 2018 Read columnist Terry Pluto’s scribbles on the Browns’ newest running back. • Chubb seemed destined to be the star of the 2016 draft class, wrote Kareem Copeland of The Washington Post, but a devastating knee injury changed that., "Nick Chubb: Get to know the Browns' No. 35 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft," 27 Apr. 2018 The markings, which largely contained either scribbles or derogatory language directed at police, appeared sometime overnight between May 4 and 5, Capt. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Graffiti containing threat to police appears in Greenfield," 8 May 2018 The sizable shower was big enough to host an editorial meeting, but a tub would have been more conducive to scribbling and reading. Seth Sherwood, New York Times, "In Bangkok, an Intimate Hotel With an Inky Past," 14 Apr. 2018 The Irish Times reports that the threatening message was scribbled on a surface inside one of the plane's bathrooms. CBS News, "United Airlines flight diverted after bomb threat found on board," 11 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scribble.' 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 scribble

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for scribble

Middle English scriblen, from Medieval Latin scribillare, from Latin scribere to write

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Statistics for scribble

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for scribble

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

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More Definitions for scribble



English Language Learners Definition of scribble

: to write (something) quickly and in a way that makes it difficult to read

: to draw lines, shapes, etc., that have no particular meaning in a quick and careless way


scrib·​ble | \ˈskri-bəl \
scribbled; scribbling

Kids Definition of scribble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to write quickly or carelessly

Other Words from scribble

scribbler \ ˈskri-​blər \ noun



Kids Definition of scribble (Entry 2 of 2)

: something written quickly or carelessly

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Comments on scribble

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


noxious or harmful

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