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[driv-uh l] /ˈdrɪv əl/
saliva flowing from the mouth, or mucus from the nose; slaver.
childish, silly, or meaningless talk or thinking; nonsense; twaddle.
verb (used without object), driveled, driveling or (especially British) drivelled, drivelling.
to let saliva flow from the mouth or mucus from the nose; slaver.
to talk childishly or idiotically.
Archaic. to issue like spittle.
verb (used with object), driveled, driveling or (especially British) drivelled, drivelling.
to utter childishly or idiotically.
to waste foolishly.
Origin of drivel
before 1000; Middle English dryvelen, variant of drevelen, Old English dreflian; akin to draff
Related forms
driveler; especially British, driveller, noun
drivelingly; especially British, drivellingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for drivel
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Assuredly they are not—in utter stolidity of platitude and absolute impotence of drivel.

    The Age of Shakespeare Algernon Charles Swinburne
  • I'm willing to be decent about it, Tom, but I don't want to listen to drivel like that.

    Left End Edwards Ralph Henry Barbour
  • Quit the drivel of matinee idol longing, and get onto the stage of life and get the bouquets for yourself.

    Supreme Personality Delmer Eugene Croft
  • All the drivel you got in the Union wont wash in practical politics.

    John Brown Captain R. W. Campbell
  • Lycurgus Mason also always took the view that the "Hymen" chapter was drivel.

    A Certain Rich Man William Allen White
  • For the moment, she had forgotten his use of the term: drivel.

    Twos and Threes G. B. Stern
  • In modern French bave means "drivel," "slabbering," and the verb baver "to slabber," but the bib is now called bavette.

  • She gets you a job on the paper and then you go and slate her drivel to Jaysus.

    Ulysses James Joyce
British Dictionary definitions for drivel


verb -els, -elling, -elled (US) -els, -eling, -eled
to allow (saliva) to flow from the mouth; dribble
(intransitive) to speak foolishly or childishly
foolish or senseless talk
saliva flowing from the mouth; slaver
Derived Forms
driveller, (US) driveler, noun
Word Origin
Old English dreflian to slaver; see draff
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 drivel

Old English dreflian "to dribble or run at the nose, slobber," from Proto-Germanic *drablojanan, from PIE *dher- "to make muddy." Meaning "to speak nonsense" is mid-14c. Related: Driveling, drivelling.


early 14c., drevel "saliva, slaver," from drivel (v.). Meaning "idiotic speech or writing" is from 1852.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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