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[ram-buh l] /ˈræm bəl/
verb (used without object), rambled, rambling.
to wander around in a leisurely, aimless manner:
They rambled through the shops until closing time.
to take a course with many turns or windings, as a stream or path.
to grow in a random, unsystematic fashion:
The vine rambled over the walls and tree trunks.
to talk or write in a discursive, aimless way (usually followed by on):
The speaker rambled on with anecdote after anecdote.
verb (used with object), rambled, rambling.
to walk aimlessly or idly over or through:
They spent the spring afternoon rambling woodland paths.
a walk without a definite route, taken merely for pleasure.
Origin of ramble
1610-20; origin uncertain
1. stroll, saunter, amble, stray, straggle. See roam. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ramble
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A Devonshire botanist told me he had identified nearly three hundred different mosses in a two days' ramble in that county.

    Gairloch In North-West Ross-Shire John H. Dixon, F.S.A. Scot
  • Lying on my back and gazing up, I felt reluctant to rise and renew my ramble.

    Green Mansions W. H. Hudson
  • I had now time to ramble round, and examine various things of interest.

    Q.6.a and Other places Francis Buckley
  • As soon as we finish filling the tanks and test the motor, she'll be ready to ramble.

    The Solar Magnet Sterner St. Paul Meek
  • And so anybody can write a decent dialogue if you allow326 him to ramble as we all do in actual talk.

    Hours in a Library Leslie Stephen
  • Let us have a ramble through the grounds, and see how the skittle-players go on.

    That Boy Of Norcott's Charles James Lever
  • Something in the stolid way he did so caused Flambeau's fierce black eyes to ramble over his companion afresh.

    The Wisdom of Father Brown G. K. Chesterton
British Dictionary definitions for ramble


verb (intransitive)
to stroll about freely, as for relaxation, with no particular direction
(of paths, streams, etc) to follow a winding course; meander
(of plants) to grow in a random fashion
(of speech, writing, etc) to lack organization
a leisurely stroll, esp in the countryside
Word Origin
C17: probably related to Middle Dutch rammelen to roam (of animals); see ram
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 ramble

mid-15c., perhaps frequentative of romen "to walk, go" (see roam), perhaps via romblen (late 14c.) "to ramble." The vowel change perhaps by influence of Middle Dutch rammelen, a derivative of rammen "copulate," "used of the night wanderings of the amorous cat" [Weekley]. Meaning "to talk or write incoherently" is from 1630s. Related: Rambled; rambling.


"a roving or wandering," 1650s, from ramble (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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