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

  • n. A small, showy ornament of little value; a trinket.
  • n. Archaic A mock scepter carried by a court jester.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A trifling piece of finery; a gewgaw; that which is gay and showy without real value; a cheap, showy plaything.
  • n. The fool's club.

from The 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.

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

  • n. a mock scepter carried by a court jester
  • n. cheap showy jewelry or ornament on clothing


Middle English babel, from Old French, plaything.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French baubel ("trinket, child's toy"), most likely a reduplication of bel, ultimately from Latin bellus ("pretty"). (Wiktionary)



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  • This word brings to mind those blown-glass sphere-things that float. I don't know what those sphere-things are actually called, but they should be called baubles.

    March 28, 2007

  • Perish the baubles! Your person is all I desire.
    Goldsmith, She Stoops, II

    January 10, 2007

  • December 7, 2006