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[baw-buh l] /ˈbɔ bəl/
a showy, usually cheap, ornament; trinket; gewgaw.
a jester's scepter.
Origin of bauble
1275-1325; Middle English babel, babulle < Old French babel, baubel, derivatives of an expressive base with varying vocalisms; compare Old French baubelet, bibelot
Can be confused
babble, Babel, bauble, bubble. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for baubles
  • That's good for display manufacturers: with all that room for improvement, they can keep churning out shiny new baubles.
  • Thanks to imitation baubles, anybody can be glamorous.
  • With bubbles, baubles and a bag full of tricks, a troupe of circus clowns brings laughter and solace to hospitalized children.
  • The last of the consecrated baubles to be lifted was the crown.
  • He might, as an experiment, spend his holiday season decorating his speeches with baubles and bangles.
  • His vanity in always wearing the baubles awarded by foreign powers was ridiculed by his superiors.
  • Zany handbags are the speciality, but there are also beautiful baubles for the minimal chic brigade.
  • But the wary shopper should wade cautiously through the sea of baubles and beads.
British Dictionary definitions for baubles


a showy toy or trinket of little value; trifle
a small, usually spherical ornament made of coloured or decorated material which is hung from the branches of a Christmas tree Usual US name Christmas ornament
(formerly) a mock staff of office carried by a court jester
Word Origin
C14: from Old French baubel plaything, of obscure 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 baubles



"showy trinket or ornament," early 14c., from Old French baubel "child's toy, trinket," probably a reduplication of bel, from Latin bellus "pretty" (see bene-). Or else related to babe, baby.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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