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mumble

[muhm-buh l] /ˈmʌm bəl/
verb (used without object), mumbled, mumbling.
1.
to speak in a low indistinct manner, almost to an unintelligible extent; mutter.
2.
to chew ineffectively, as from loss of teeth:
to mumble on a crust.
verb (used with object), mumbled, mumbling.
3.
to say or utter indistinctly, as with partly closed lips:
He mumbled something about expenses.
4.
to chew, or try to eat, with difficulty, as from loss of teeth.
noun
5.
a low, indistinct utterance or sound.
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English momelen, equivalent to mom(me) mum1 + -elen -le; compare Dutch mommelen, German mummeln
Related forms
mumbler, noun
mumblingly, adverb
half-mumbled, adjective
unmumbled, adjective
unmumbling, adjective
Synonyms
1, 3. See murmur.
Antonyms
1. articulate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for mumbled
  • She was greeted with a series of harrumphs and mumbled protests.
  • We mumbled something about lacking the right change.
  • Jobs ripped it off and mumbled that he hated the design and refused to wear it.
  • She mumbled apologies while a sympathetic audience member tried to quiet the chatter in the room.
  • The panelists and others in the room mumbled, they stammered, they were hopeless and helpless.
  • She didn't look at me as she mumbled this, hands on her hips.
  • They became confused, looked at one another, and mumbled something incomprehensible.
  • He mumbled and shuffled and could barely look at the camera.
  • The firm mumbled that his departure would allow it to focus on its main business.
  • She mumbled that she couldn't, or that there was no money.
British Dictionary definitions for mumbled

mumble

/ˈmʌmbəl/
verb
1.
to utter indistinctly, as with the mouth partly closed; mutter
2.
(rare) to chew (food) ineffectually or with difficulty
noun
3.
an indistinct or low utterance or sound
Derived Forms
mumbler, noun
mumbling, adjective
mumblingly, adverb
Word Origin
C14 momelen, from mum²
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 mumbled

mumble

v.

early 14c., momelen, "to eat in a slow, ineffective manner" (perhaps "to talk with one's mouth full"), probably frequentative of interjection mum. The -b- is excrescent. Meaning "to speak indistinctly" is from mid-14c. Related: Mumbled; mumbling.

n.

1902, from mumble (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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