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garble

[gahr-buh l] /ˈgɑr bəl/
verb (used with object), garbled, garbling.
1.
to confuse unintentionally or ignorantly; jumble:
to garble instructions.
2.
to make unfair or misleading selections from or arrangement of (fact, statements, writings, etc.); distort:
to garble a quotation.
3.
Archaic. to take out the best of.
noun
4.
the act or process of garbling.
5.
an instance of garbling; a garbled phrase, literary passage, etc.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English garbelen to remove refuse from spices < Old Italian garbellare to sift < Arabic gharbala < Late Latin crībellāre, derivative of crībellum, diminutive of Latin crībrum sieve (see -elle); probably influenced by garboil
Related forms
garbleable, adjective
garbler, noun
ungarbled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for garble
  • You're right that he did garble the joke a bit by confusing the sisters.
  • The second announcement, five minutes later, was straight garble.
  • Movement interfered with the signals, so that even an eyebrow twitch could garble the brain impulses.
  • There remains, however, the possibility of another garble.
  • The treatments study the incentives of subjects to bias information, garble information and develop reputations.
  • Also, transmission anomalies might garble a small percentage of fingerprints during transmission.
  • Radio communication is subject to interference by outside sources, which may garble or mask the message.
British Dictionary definitions for garble

garble

/ˈɡɑːbəl/
verb (transitive)
1.
to jumble (a story, quotation, etc), esp unintentionally
2.
to distort the meaning of (an account, text, etc), as by making misleading omissions; corrupt
3.
(rare) to select the best part of
noun
4.
  1. the act of garbling
  2. garbled matter
Derived Forms
garbler, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old Italian garbellare to strain, sift, from Arabic gharbala, from ghirbāl sieve, from Late Latin crībellum small sieve, from crībrum sieve
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for garble
v.

early 15c., "to inspect and remove refuse from (spices)," from Anglo-French garbeler "to sift" (late 14c.), from Medieval Latin and Italian garbellare, from Arabic gharbala "to sift and select spices," related to kirbal "sieve," perhaps from Late Latin cribellum, diminutive of Latin cribrum "sieve" (see crisis). Apparently a widespread word among Mediterranean traders (cf. Italian garbellare, Spanish garbillo); sense of "mix up, confuse, distort language" (by selecting some things and omitting others) first recorded 1680s. Related: Garbled; garbling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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