American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A small, showy ornament of little value; a trinket.
- n. Archaic A mock scepter carried by a court jester.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A child's plaything or toy.
- n. A trifling piece of finery; that which is gay or showy without real value; a gewgaw.
- n. A trifle; a thing of little or no value; a childish or foolish matter or affair.
- Trifling; insignificant; contemptible.
- Also spelled bawble.
- To trifle.
- n. Primarily, a sort of scepter or staff of office, the attribute of Folly personified, carried by the jesters of kings and great lords in the middle ages, and down to the seventeenth century. It is generally represented as crowned with the head of a fool or zany, wearing a party-colored hood with asses' ears, and with a ring of little bells, like sleigh-bells. At the other end there was sometimes a ball or bladder inflated with air, with which to belabor people. Also spelled
- n. A cheap showy ornament piece of jewellery; a gewgaw.
- n. A club or sceptre carried by a jester.
- n. A small shiny spherical decoration, commonly put on Christmas trees.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A trifling piece of finery; a gewgaw; that which is gay and showy without real value; a cheap, showy plaything.
- n. obsolete The fool's club.
- n. a mock scepter carried by a court jester
- n. cheap showy jewelry or ornament on clothing
- From Old French baubel ("trinket, child's toy"), most likely a reduplication of bel, ultimately from Latin bellus ("pretty"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English babel, from Old French, plaything. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The former was dressed in "a parti-colored dress, including a cowl, which ended in a cock's-head, and was winged with a couple of long ears; he, moreover, carried in his hand a stick called his bauble, terminating either in an inflated bladder or some other ludicrous object, to be employed in slapping inadvertent neighbors.”
“To Paul the bauble was a bit of the warm wonder that was she.”
“For the great tassels still hung at the sides and – Well! you may call it an impossible find or say that if the bauble was there it should have been discovered in the first search for it!”
“Logically, to refuse the bauble is the correct action.”
“she said, noting that the bauble is a happy reminder of her thirteen-year marriage.”
“Sergeant-at-Arms elevated his mace -- that "bauble" of authority so distasteful to the Puritans -- and the Speaker began to swear in the members State by State.”
“Cromwell at Marston Moor, and, resisting the Protector when he removed the "bauble," was one of the patriots incarcerated in "Hell hole.”
“Moor, and, resisting the Protector when he removed the "bauble," was one of the patriots incarcerated in "Hell hole.”
“The staves, instead of the crown, were surmounted by quartern measures, and produced a most striking and novel effect, as they appeared to be more reverenced and respected than that gaudy bauble which is a representative of Royalty.”
Real Life In London, Volumes I. and II. Or, The Rambles And Adventures Of Bob Tallyho, Esq., And His Cousin, The Hon. Tom Dashall, Through The Metropolis; Exhibiting A Living Picture Of Fashionable Characters, Manners, And Amusements In High And Low Life (1821)
“The word "bauble" was audibly and curiously repeated.”
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