Babbling



foolish or meaningless chatter; prattle:
the constant babbling of idle gossips.
the random production of meaningless vocal sounds characteristic of infants after about the sixth week.
chattering or prattling aimlessly.
to utter sounds or words imperfectly, indistinctly, or without meaning.
to talk idly, irrationally, excessively, or foolishly; chatter or prattle.
to make a continuous, murmuring sound.
to utter in an incoherent, foolish, or meaningless fashion.
to reveal foolishly or thoughtlessly:
to babble a secret.
inarticulate or imperfect speech.
foolish, meaningless, or incoherent speech; prattle.
a murmuring sound or a confusion of sounds.
babbling (def 2).
Telecommunications. a confused mixture of extraneous sounds in a circuit, resulting from cross talk from other channels.
Compare cross talk (def 1).
Contemporary Examples

Language was no barrier; just about every tongue on the planet was babbling away, caught up in the elaborate mystique of a cult.
Sherlock Holmes Vs. Jack the Ripper Clive Irving November 15, 2014

There was no babbling brook in the background—just the sound of New York traffic.
Wedding Bells at N.Y. City Hall Jessica Bennett July 24, 2011

Children splash around in the babbling river where the infection began, women washing and bathing on rocks in the sun.
United Nations Still Denies its Troops Brought Cholera to Haiti Jonathan M. Katz April 3, 2012

I realize now that I spoke to her in paragraphs, babbling on and on, while she talked sparingly but concisely.
Marilyn and Me: On the 50th Anniversary of Monroe’s Death Lawrence Schiller August 4, 2012

Historical Examples

In a few years—if I let myself live to it—I shall be a babbling maniac.
The Crooked House Brandon Fleming

Her eyes were alight, and she was babbling away to her aunt.
The Incomplete Amorist E. Nesbit

She is a wild-eyed jade, no doubt, with disordered locks and a babbling tongue.
A Padre in France George A. Birmingham

You’re afraid of my making you split upon some of your babbling just now, are you, Sneak?’
Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit Charles Dickens

“The babbling of a race in its infancy,” it is said by the pandits of the Western world.
Avatras Annie Besant

Plainly the babblers were approaching along that entry and babbling as they came.
Fair Harbor Joseph Crosby Lincoln

verb
to utter (words, sounds, etc) in an incoherent or indistinct jumble
(intransitive) to talk foolishly, incessantly, or irrelevantly
(transitive) to disclose (secrets, confidences, etc) carelessly or impulsively
(intransitive) (of streams, birds, etc) to make a low murmuring or bubbling sound
noun
incoherent or foolish speech; chatter
a murmuring or bubbling sound
v.

mid-13c., babeln “to prattle, chatter,” akin to other Western European words for stammering and prattling (cf. Swedish babbla, Old French babillier) attested from the same era, some of which probably were borrowed from others, but etymologists cannot now determine which were original. Probably imitative of baby-talk, in any case (cf. Latin babulus “babbler,” Greek barbaros “non-Greek-speaking”). “No direct connexion with Babel can be traced; though association with that may have affected the senses” [OED]. Meaning “to repeat oneself incoherently, speak foolishly” is attested from c.1400. Related: Babbled; babbling.
n.

“idle talk,” c.1500, from babble (v.). In 16c., commonly in reduplicated form bibble-babble.

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