ramble

1 of 2

verb

ram·​ble ˈram-bəl How to pronounce ramble (audio)
rambled; rambling ˈram-b(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce ramble (audio)

intransitive verb

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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

ramble

2 of 2

noun

1
: a leisurely excursion for pleasure
especially : an aimless walk
2
: a rambling story or discussion
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

Verb She rambled for several minutes before introducing the main speaker. He's funny, but he tends to ramble. Noun 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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
In this rambling speech in a city many still associate with one of the most violent anti-government standoffs in modern American history, Trump underlined his intent to harness the full power of the government upon his return to the White House. Jon D. Michaels, Foreign Affairs, 10 June 2024 Mainly, though, this rambling and overstuffed outing is historic for the Paper Boi acoustic rap cover. EW.com, 10 June 2024
Noun
Wearing a fedora twice as big as his body, Armand approaches Louis cruising in the rambles and gives him his card: Directeur artistique of the Theatre des Vampires, which brings us to the centerpiece of the episode, the one that fans of the books have surely been waiting for this whole time. Rebecca Alter, Vulture, 19 May 2024 Nowadays, the trail offers a glorious roller-coaster ramble. Laura Beausire, Travel + Leisure, 6 Nov. 2023 See all Example Sentences for ramble 

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English, probably alteration of romblen, frequentative of romen to roam

First Known Use

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun

1639, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ramble was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near ramble

Cite this Entry

“Ramble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ramble. Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

ramble

1 of 2 verb
ram·​ble ˈram-bəl How to pronounce ramble (audio)
rambled; rambling -b(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce ramble (audio)
1
: to move from place to place for no special reason
2
: to talk or write without a clear purpose or point
3
: to grow or extend irregularly

ramble

2 of 2 noun
1
: a long stroll with no particular destination
2
: a rambling story or discussion

More from Merriam-Webster on ramble

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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