- When you are told a story about why someone was late but you completely miss the point of the story and retell an incorrect and messed up account of what happened, this is an example of when you garble the story.
- When a radio frequency transmitting a broadcast doesn't come in clearly and the voices sound distorted, this is an example of when the broadcast is garbled.
- Obs. to sort by sifting
- Rare to select the best parts of
- to suppress or distort parts of (a story, etc.) in telling, so as to mislead or misrepresent
- to confuse or mix up (a quotation, story, message, etc.) unintentionally, as through inaccurate copying or poor radio transmission
Origin of garbleMiddle English garbelen ; from Italian garbellare, to sift ; from garbello, a sieve ; from Arabic gharb?l, earlier ghirb?l ; from Late Latin cribellum, small sieve, diminutive of Classical Latin cribrum, a sieve, akin to cernere: see critic
transitive verbgar·bled, gar·bling, gar·bles
- To mix up or distort to such an extent as to make misleading or incomprehensible: The report garbled all the historical facts.
- To scramble (a signal or message), as by erroneous encoding or faulty transmission.
- Archaic To sort out; cull.
Origin of garbleMiddle English garbelen, to inspect and remove refuse from spices, from Anglo-Norman garbeler, to sift, and from Medieval Latin garbellare, both from Arabic ġarbala, to select, from ġirbal, sieve, from Late Latin cr&imacron;bellum, diminutive of Latin cr&imacron;brum; see krei- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present garbles, present participle garbling, simple past and past participle garbled)