Garble definition

gärbəl
To mix up or distort to such an extent as to make misleading or incomprehensible.

The report garbled all the historical facts.

verb
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To scramble (a signal or message), as by erroneous encoding or faulty transmission.
verb
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(archaic) To sort out; cull.
verb
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The act or an instance of garbling.

A garble of nonsense syllables.

noun
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To suppress or distort parts of (a story, etc.) in telling, so as to mislead or misrepresent.
verb
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The definition of garble is to do something to a message so that it cannot be understood, or the reproduction of a sound or story so that the original meaning is distorted or lost.

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.

verb
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(obs.) To sort by sifting.
verb
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(rare) To select the best parts of.
verb
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The act or result of garbling.
noun
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To pick out such parts of as may serve a purpose; to mutilate; to pervert; as, to garble a quotation; to garble an account.
verb
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To make false by mutilation or addition.

The editor garbled the story.

verb
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(obsolete) Refuse; rubbish.

noun
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(obsolete) Impurities separated from spices, drugs, etc.; garblings.
noun
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To confuse or mix up (a quotation, story, message, etc.) unintentionally, as through inaccurate copying or poor radio transmission.
verb
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Origin of garble

  • Middle English garbelen to inspect and remove refuse from spices from Anglo-Norman garbeler to sift, and from Medieval Latin garbellāre both from Arabic ġarbala to select from ġirbāl sieve from Late Latin crībellum diminutive of Latin crībrum krei- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Anglo-Norman garbeler (“to sift”), from Medieval Latin garbellare, from Arabic غربل (ğárbala, “to sift”).

    From Wiktionary