babble

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v babble divulge confidential information or secrets "Be careful--his secretary talks"
    • v babble to talk foolishly "The two women babbled and crooned at the baby"
    • v babble utter meaningless sounds, like a baby, or utter in an incoherent way "The old man is only babbling--don't pay attention"
    • v babble flow in an irregular current with a bubbling noise "babbling brooks"
    • n babble gibberish resembling the sounds of a baby
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Babble Idle talk; senseless prattle; gabble; twaddle. "This is mere moral babble ."
    • Babble Inarticulate speech; constant or confused murmur. "The babble of our young children.""The babble of the stream."
    • Babble To disclose by too free talk, as a secret.
    • Babble To make a continuous murmuring noise, as shallow water running over stones. "In every babbling brook he finds a friend."
    • Babble To talk incoherently; to utter unmeaning words.
    • Babble To talk much; to chatter; to prate.
    • Babble To utter in an indistinct or incoherent way; to repeat, as words, in a childish way without understanding. "These [words] he used to babble in all companies."
    • Babble To utter words indistinctly or unintelligibly; to utter inarticulate sounds; as a child babbles.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • babble To utter words imperfectly or indistinctly, as children do; prattle; jabber.
    • babble To talk idly, irrationally, or thoughtlessly; chatter or prate heedlessly or mischievously.
    • babble To make a continuous murmuring sound, as a stream; repeat a sound frequently and indistinctly.
    • babble To utter incoherently or with meaningless iteration; repeat; prate.
    • babble To utter foolishly or thoughtlessly; let out by babbling or prating: as, to babble a plot or a secret.
    • n babble Inarticulate speech, such as that of an infant; idle talk; senseless prattle; murmur, as of a stream.
    • n babble Synonyms See prattle, n.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.i Babble bab′bl to speak like a baby: to make a continuous murmuring sound like a brook, &c.: to make a babbling noise: to tell secrets
    • v.t Babble to prate: to utter
    • ns Babble idle senseless talk: prattle: confused murmur, as of a stream
    • ***

Quotations

  • Lance Morrow
    Lance Morrow
    “Never forget the power of silence, that massively disconcerting pause which goes on and on and may at last induce an opponent to babble and backtrack nervously.”
  • Edna St. Vincent Millay
    Edna%20St.%20Vincent%20Millay
    “April comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.”

Idioms

A shallow brook babbles the loudest - People who are loud and talk a lot usually have nothing of substance to say. This contrasts with "Still waters run deep." Other versions are "Shallow brooks babble loudest" and "Shallow brooks are noisy."
***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. LG. babbeln, D. babbelen, G. bappeln, bappern, F. babiller, It. babbolare,; prob. orig., to keep saying ba, imitative of a child learning to talk
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Prob. imit., from the repeated syllable ba; cf. Dut. babbelen, Ger. pappelen, Fr. babiller.

Usage

In literature:

One day he babbled over the bar-counter to O'Fallen, desiring greatly that they should be reconciled.
"Cumner & South Sea Folk, Complete" by Gilbert Parker
And if we babble all our doings to him, think you he takes it seriously?
"The Seats Of The Mighty, Complete" by Gilbert Parker
Then he babbled all the way to the door that led into the street; for now he would stay no longer.
"The Battle Of The Strong, Complete A Romance of Two Kingdoms" by Gilbert Parker
They babbled, shook their heads, and waved their hands excitedly, and swayed and craned their necks to see the offender.
"The Lane That Had No Turning, Complete" by Gilbert Parker
He had babbled and been the egotist, and played cock o' the walk; and now at last his philosophy was giving some foundation for his feet.
"The Money Master, Complete" by Gilbert Parker
He would, she knew, understand her, no matter how the world babbled.
"The World For Sale, Complete" by Gilbert Parker
The philosopher will, above all things, abstain from babbling.
"Hypatia" by Charles Kingsley
The water will cling round your feet and babble its secret.
"The Gardener" by Rabindranath Tagore
The next moment his arms were round her, and he was babbling.
"The Man Upstairs" by P. G. Wodehouse
What is the simpleton babbling about?
"Love and Intrigue A Play" by Friedrich Schiller
***

In poetry:

I sit beneath its shade,
And watch, with careless eye,
The brook that babbles by,
And cools the leafy glade.
"Summer Hours" by Horatio Alger Jr
Though babbling only to the Vale,
Of Sunshine and of flowers,
Thou bringest unto me a tale
Of visionary hours.
"To The Cuckoo" by William Wordsworth
Around the fountain's eastern base
A babbling brooklet sped,
With sleepy murmur purling soft
Adown its gravelly bed.
"Trehill Well" by Charles Kingsley
In this Imperial wilderness
Why rashly babble and explore?
O, let me know a little less,
So I may feel a little more!
"The Door Of Humility" by Alfred Austin
Beside the hush of her his breath
Came with a sobbing sigh.
He babbled: 'Sweet, you play at death . . .
'Tis I who die.'
"The Actor" by Robert W Service
I lay my hand upon the stile,
The stile is lone and cold,
The burnie that goes babbling by
Says nought that can be told.
"A Nuptial Eve" by Sydney Thompson Dobell

In news:

Craig Venter : Beyond "Bio-Babble".
Casey Mullins is the author of the blog Moosh in Indy, recently named one of the year's top 100 blogs by Babble.com.
"A punch-drunk wrestler who found himself fading from the limelight babbled a fantastic tale to a reporter," Brougham wrote, "and stabbed a knife into his Alma Mater.
The video opens in a sun-kissed scene straight out of a Disney flick, with a babbling brook, woodland creatures and even unicorns.
It's a lovely spot early in the morning, with the brook babbling, the songbirds singing and trees sighing in a light breeze.
With all of the political howling, screeching and babbling leading up to next month's election, there is really only one thing people should remember.
JoDee has a great blog Babble.com and she post this with her new Christmas song Love it.
He escaped by babbling non-stop for 45 minutes, then inviting the gunman over for dinner.
' Hitchcock ' too much 'Psycho'-babble.
In an offseason full of babble, hardly a word has been spoken about a player who has a decent chance of starting at cornerback for the Bears.
As April rolls around, the procrastinators among us begin frantically babbling about needing an extension for their tax return, believing then all will be right in the world.
Witnesses to the aftermath of a fatal auto accident involving a former "Melrose Place" actress say she was babbling and wasn't aware someone had died.
SOMERVILLE, N.J.—Witnesses to the aftermath of a fatal auto accident involving a former "Melrose Place" actress say she was babbling and wasn't aware someone had died.
Numbers don't lie, but they can occasionally babble nonsensically.
The year's political babble has the tenor of a neo-Freudian emergency room.
***

In science:

If you believe my heuristic babbling above, then it is reasonable to hope that n steps of rotor evolution and n steps of random walk would lead to similar ending distributions.
Goldbug Variations
***