Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To utter a meaningless confusion of words or sounds.
  • intransitive verb To talk foolishly or idly; chatter.
  • intransitive verb To make a continuous low, murmuring sound, as flowing water.
  • intransitive verb To utter rapidly and indistinctly.
  • intransitive verb To blurt out impulsively; disclose without careful consideration.
  • noun Inarticulate or meaningless talk or sounds.
  • noun Idle or foolish talk; chatter.
  • noun A continuous low, murmuring sound, as of flowing water.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun Inarticulate speech, such as that of an infant; idle talk; senseless prattle; murmur, as of a stream.
  • noun Synonyms See prattle, n.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

Middle English babelen.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").

Examples

Comments

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  • 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