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Syllabification: bab·ble
Pronunciation: /ˈbabəl

Definition of babble in English:


[no object]
1Talk rapidly and continuously in a foolish, excited, or incomprehensible way: he would babble on in his gringo Spanish
More example sentences
  • My mother continued to babble on but I paid no attention.
  • Stacey continued to babble on, totally naïve to the fact that she was causing so many eyes to focus on her.
  • Krista continued to babble on about how one of her uncles had gone through the same thing and it all turned out just fine.
1.1 [reporting verb] Utter something rapidly and incoherently: [with direct speech]: I gasped and stared and babbled, “Look at this!” [with object]: he began to babble an apology
More example sentences
  • The young man's brows furrowed, babbling something incoherently from under his father's firm hand.
  • He was right; I did feel better after babbling my incoherent misgivings.
  • They all babbled their apologies to him, terrified.
1.2Reveal something secret or confidential by talking impulsively or carelessly: he babbled to another convict while he was in jail [with object]: my father babbled out the truth
More example sentences
  • Had he, on their command, babbled out everything he knew?
  • It was later in the night when his father finally arrived home as his youngest sister babbled out all to his father.
  • When the Wisconsin politicians babbled to the Press, the Press rushed back to the senator for confirmation.
1.3 (usually as adjective babbling) (Of a stream) make the continuous murmuring sound of water flowing over stones: a gently babbling brook
More example sentences
  • Not far away was a clear, babbling stream of fresh water from the top of the mountain.
  • On the soundproofed pastel wall, a huge TV screen showed a stream babbling over rocks.
  • Trees, distant mountains, slowly rolling hills of soft grass, flowers, somewhere behind her a river or brook babbling: it was the way she had always envisioned heaven.
burble, murmur, gurgle, tinkle
literary plash


[in singular] Back to top  
1The sound of people talking quickly and in a way that is difficult or impossible to understand: a babble of protest
More example sentences
  • I'm picking these sounds out from the babble of the past, a raucous market fair of a landscape that stretches out as far as the eye can see.
  • From an uncertain corner in another part of the pub, there was a babble of bedlam.
  • The gorgeous changing colors of the high-tech map were accompanied by sound: the babble of many meteorologists overlaid by the powerful roar of wind and waves.
1.1Foolish, excited, or confused talk: her soft voice stopped his babble
More example sentences
  • She stopped her excited babble and grabbed my wrist, dragging me off to math class.
  • She does seem very quick to understand my situation from the tearful babble which comes out of me when I see her.
  • He had merely stood there, tall and silent, piercing her with his incessant gaze, until her words had died to a senseless babble.
prattle, chatter, jabber, prating, rambling, blather
informal gab, yabbering, yatter
1.2The continuous murmuring sound of water flowing over stones in a stream: the babble of a brook
More example sentences
  • The sounds coming from the workshops combine with the babble of the stream to create an authentic atmosphere of the settlement of old.
  • In the silence of the grove, she heard the pleasant babble of the stream, except that it was no longer a quiet sloshing.
  • In plants, a babble of water and small molecules flows through the plasmodesmata between cells.
1.3Background disturbance caused by interference from conversations on other telephone lines.
Example sentences
  • To test this, we added background babble (from the SPIN-R test) and replicated the experiment with another group of younger listeners.
  • The resulting babble of overlapping signals can confuse the receiver.


Middle English: from Middle Low German babbelen, or an independent English formation, as a frequentative based on the repeated syllable ba, typical of a child's early speech.

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