- The definition of babble is words or sounds that are not understandable.
The first sounds that a baby makes are an example of babble.
- Babble is defined as to utter words or sounds without meaning or that are not understandable.
An example of babble is for a baby to make noises without producing any recognizable words.
Two babies babble at each other.
intransitive verbbabbled, babbling
- to make incoherent sounds, as a baby does; prattle
- to talk foolishly or too much; blab
- to make a low, bubbling sound, as a brook does when flowing over stones
Origin of babbleMiddle English bablen; akin to Norwegian bable, Swedish babbla, German babbeln, to prattle, Classical Latin balbutire, to stammer, Sanskrit balbuthah, stammerer: of echoic origin, originally
- to say indistinctly or incoherently
- to say foolishly or unadvisedly; blab
- confused, incoherent talk or vocal sounds
- foolish or meaningless talk
- a low, bubbling sound
verbbab·bled, bab·bling, bab·bles
- To utter a meaningless confusion of words or sounds: Babies babble before they can talk.
- To talk foolishly or idly; chatter: “As I babbled on &ellipsis; I did not notice that my parents, in the front seat, had fallen completely silent” (Oliver Sacks).
- To make a continuous low, murmuring sound, as flowing water.
- To utter rapidly and indistinctly: “Toward the end he babbled old stories, randomly cobbled together” (Julia Whitty).
- To blurt out impulsively; disclose without careful consideration.
- Inarticulate or meaningless talk or sounds.
- Idle or foolish talk; chatter.
- A continuous low, murmuring sound, as of flowing water.
Origin of babbleMiddle English babelen.
- Idle talk; senseless prattle; gabble; twaddle.
- 1634, John Milton, Comus, a Mask, line 823:
- "This is mere moral babble."
- Inarticulate speech; constant or confused murmur.
- A sound of or alike that which of flowing water.
(third-person singular simple present babbles, present participle babbling, simple past and past participle babbled)
- (intransitive) To utter words indistinctly or unintelligibly; to utter inarticulate sounds; as, a child babbles.
- (intransitive) To talk incoherently; to utter unmeaning words.
- (intransitive) To talk much; to chatter; to prate.
- (intransitive) To make a continuous murmuring noise, as shallow water running over stones.
- In every babbling brook he finds a friend. - William Wordsworth.
- Hounds are said to babble, or to be babbling, when they are too noisy after having found a good scent.
- To utter in an indistinct or incoherent way; to repeat, as words, in a childish way without understanding.
- These words he used to babble in all companies. - John Arbuthnot.
- To disclose by too free talk, as a secret.
From Middle English babelen, from Old English *bæblian, also wæflian (“to talk foolishly”), from Proto-Germanic *babalōną (“to chatter”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰa-bʰa-, *baba- (“to talk vaguely, mumble”). Cognate with Old Frisian babbelje (“to babble”), Old Norse babbla (“to babble”) (Swedish babbla), Middle Low German babbelen (“to babble”), Dutch babbelen (“to babble”), German pappeln and babbeln (“to babble”).