scrib·​ble | \ ˈskri-bəl How to pronounce scribble (audio) \
scribbled; scribbling\ ˈskri-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce scribbling (audio) \; scribbles

Definition of scribble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive + intransitive verb

1 : to write or draw hastily or carelessly a note scribbled on the back of an envelope Harriet scribbled in her notebook as soon as she took her seat.— Louise Fitzhugh He took a stump of lead pencil out of his pocket and scribbled a moustache on the lion's upper lip and then a pair of spectacles on its eyes.— C. S. Lewis
2 : to fill or cover something with careless or worthless writings or drawings a scribbled envelope … papers … scribbled over with clues …English Digest


plural scribbles

Definition of scribble (Entry 2 of 2)

: a piece of writing or a drawing that is done quickly or carelessly She could barely make out the doctor's scribble. a page covered with random scribbles … he pulled a thick wad of envelopes from the inside of the pillowcase he was wearing. Harry could make out Hermione's neat writing, Ron's untidy scrawl, and even a scribble that looked as though it was from the Hogwarts gamekeeper, Hagrid.— J. K. Rowling

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Synonyms for scribble

Synonyms: Verb

scratch, scrawl, squiggle

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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: Verb

Accordion-style manila folders still hold paper documents, judges scribble handwritten orders in court, carbon paper is used to make copies of the paper filings. Jason Meisner,, "The feds once seized her cellphone, a line of people want to replace her and now Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown says she won’t seek reelection," 13 Aug. 2019 Among its best new features is its handwriting-to-text tool that was able to instantly convert even our sloppiest scribbles to text and works with 62 languages. Samantha Kelly, CNN, "Samsung's Note10 finally bids farewell to the headphone jack," 7 Aug. 2019 Shanahan tasked McVay with binding playbooks, making copies, scribbling out play sheets and organizing cutups of opposing defenses. Greg Bishop,, "The Forgettable Years of a Coaching Staff to Remember," 23 Aug. 2019 Even Warrant frontman Jani Lane - who penned the song in minutes, scribbling lyrics onto a pizza box after the band’s record company told him their album needed one more tune - loathed the track. Matt Wake |, al, "The saga of a Southern, ‘Cherry Pie’ video-vixen," 28 Aug. 2019 Yet soon enough, both men scribbled their names on the makeshift contract, a $545 million deal., "A History of Football in 100 Objects," 28 Aug. 2019 In a conference room of a Catholic church in Luanda, Wanda furiously scribbled in her pink notebook, peeking over her glasses. USA Today, "Were Wanda Tucker’s ancestors America’s first slaves? A difficult search for answers in far-away Angola," 22 Aug. 2019 They are scribbled on colorful squares of paper and scattered along the street where three days ago a young man with a gun killed 9 people and injured 27 others. Erin Glynn,, "'We rise by lifting others:' Post-it notes of support appear at scene of Dayton shooting," 7 Aug. 2019 Roy Swartz's name was scribbled on lumber later made into a kitchen drawer. azcentral, "A red-brick ranch in Glendale is more than a home. Take a look inside the pet sanctuary and urban farm," 20 June 2019

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


1577, in the meaning defined above

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

19 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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



English Language Learners Definition of scribble (Entry 2 of 2)

: writing that is difficult to read because it has been done quickly or carelessly
: lines, shapes, etc., that have no particular meaning and are drawn in a quick and careless way


scrib·​ble | \ ˈskri-bəl How to pronounce scribble (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on scribble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scribble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scribble

Spanish Central: Translation of scribble

Nglish: Translation of scribble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scribble for Arabic Speakers

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