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

Definition of scribble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive + intransitive

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

Synonyms for scribble

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of scribble in a Sentence

Verb 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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Find a Tacoma on Instagram, and scribble out some calculations on a napkin. Wes Siler, Outside Online, 25 Feb. 2021 Simply apply decorative stickers on a blank, ceramic mug, then let your child scribble away in various colors. Mariah Thomas, Good Housekeeping, 19 Apr. 2022 Montessori’s approach—which amounts to encouraging the students to scribble with chalk and to make protowriting gestures—works. Rivka Galchen, Harper’s Magazine , 18 Jan. 2022 Like the signature seen on many of his other highly coveted trading cards, the blue script is not the tilting scribble Doncic used during his teenage years. New York Times, 29 Oct. 2021 Someone later used dark ink to scribble over the words, apparently to dampen the effusive, perhaps amorous, language., 1 Oct. 2021 Frances asks for a pen and some paper and begins to furiously scribble down ideas. Neha Prakash, Marie Claire, 23 Sep. 2021 Everyone has their personal preferences, different types of tasks, and the willingness to scribble and organize. Medea Giordan, Wired, 30 Aug. 2021 Come back from the break, get the clue, then familiar theme music starts up as contestants scribble their answers. Andy Meek, BGR, 7 July 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of scribble


15th century, in the meaning defined at 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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Time Traveler for scribble

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

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Statistics for scribble

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Scribble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for scribble


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

More from Merriam-Webster on scribble

Nglish: Translation of scribble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scribble for Arabic Speakers


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