Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To utter a meaningless confusion of words or sounds: Babies babble before they can talk.
  • intransitive v. To talk foolishly or idly; chatter: "In 1977 [he] was thought of as crazy because he was babbling about supply side” ( Newt Gingrich).
  • intransitive v. To make a continuous low, murmuring sound, as flowing water.
  • transitive v. To utter rapidly and indistinctly.
  • transitive v. To blurt out impulsively; disclose without careful consideration.
  • n. Inarticulate or meaningless talk or sounds.
  • n. Idle or foolish talk; chatter.
  • n. A continuous low, murmuring sound, as of flowing water.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Idle talk; senseless prattle; gabble; twaddle.
  • n. Inarticulate speech; constant or confused murmur.
  • n. A sound of or alike that which of flowing water.
  • v. To utter words indistinctly or unintelligibly; to utter inarticulate sounds; as, a child babbles.
  • v. To talk incoherently; to utter unmeaning words.
  • v. To talk much; to chatter; to prate.
  • v. To make a continuous murmuring noise, as shallow water running over stones.
  • v. To utter in an indistinct or incoherent way; to repeat, as words, in a childish way without understanding.
  • v. To disclose by too free talk, as a secret.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Idle talk; senseless prattle; gabble; twaddle.
  • n. Inarticulate speech; constant or confused murmur.
  • intransitive v. To utter words indistinctly or unintelligibly; to utter inarticulate sounds; as a child babbles.
  • intransitive v. To talk incoherently; to utter unmeaning words.
  • intransitive v. To talk much; to chatter; to prate.
  • intransitive v. To make a continuous murmuring noise, as shallow water running over stones.
  • transitive v. To utter in an indistinct or incoherent way; to repeat, as words, in a childish way without understanding.
  • transitive v. To disclose by too free talk, as a secret.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To utter words imperfectly or indistinctly, as children do; prattle; jabber.
  • To talk idly, irrationally, or thoughtlessly; chatter or prate heedlessly or mischievously.
  • To make a continuous murmuring sound, as a stream; repeat a sound frequently and indistinctly.
  • To utter incoherently or with meaningless iteration; repeat; prate.
  • To utter foolishly or thoughtlessly; let out by babbling or prating: as, to babble a plot or a secret.
  • n. Inarticulate speech, such as that of an infant; idle talk; senseless prattle; murmur, as of a stream.
  • n. Synonyms See prattle, n.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. to talk foolishly
  • v. utter meaningless sounds, like a baby, or utter in an incoherent way
  • v. divulge confidential information or secrets
  • n. gibberish resembling the sounds of a baby
  • v. flow in an irregular current with a bubbling noise

Etymologies

Middle English babelen.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English babelen, from Old English *bæblian, also wæflian ("to talk foolishly"), from Proto-Germanic *babalōnan (“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"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Here April comes like a drunkard, vomiting thunder and waking the morning after with a head full of dragonflies.

    February 27, 2009

  • April comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

    - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    February 27, 2009