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babbling

[bab-ling] /ˈbæb lɪŋ/
noun
1.
foolish or meaningless chatter; prattle:
the constant babbling of idle gossips.
2.
the random production of meaningless vocal sounds characteristic of infants after about the sixth week.
adjective
3.
chattering or prattling aimlessly.
Origin
1200-1250
1200-50; Middle English; see babble, -ing1, -ing2
Related forms
babblingly, adverb

babble

[bab-uh l] /ˈbæb əl/
verb (used without object), babbled, babbling.
1.
to utter sounds or words imperfectly, indistinctly, or without meaning.
2.
to talk idly, irrationally, excessively, or foolishly; chatter or prattle.
3.
to make a continuous, murmuring sound.
verb (used with object), babbled, babbling.
4.
to utter in an incoherent, foolish, or meaningless fashion.
5.
to reveal foolishly or thoughtlessly:
to babble a secret.
noun
6.
inarticulate or imperfect speech.
7.
foolish, meaningless, or incoherent speech; prattle.
8.
a murmuring sound or a confusion of sounds.
9.
babbling (def 2).
10.
Telecommunications. a confused mixture of extraneous sounds in a circuit, resulting from cross talk from other channels.
Compare cross talk (def 1).
Origin
1200-50; Middle English babelen; cognate with Old Norse babbla, Dutch babbelen, German pappelen
Related forms
outbabble, verb (used with object), outbabbled, outbabbling.
Can be confused
babble, Babel, bauble, bubble.
Synonyms
2. chitchat, gabble, drivel, blather. 3. murmur, gurgle, burble.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for babbling

babble

/ˈbæbəl/
verb
1.
to utter (words, sounds, etc) in an incoherent or indistinct jumble
2.
(intransitive) to talk foolishly, incessantly, or irrelevantly
3.
(transitive) to disclose (secrets, confidences, etc) carelessly or impulsively
4.
(intransitive) (of streams, birds, etc) to make a low murmuring or bubbling sound
noun
5.
incoherent or foolish speech; chatter
6.
a murmuring or bubbling sound
Derived Forms
babblement, noun
babbling, noun, adjective
Word Origin
C13: compare Dutch babbelen, Swedish babbla, French babiller to prattle, Latin babulus fool; probably all of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for babbling

babble

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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