babble vs babbling what difference

what is difference between babble and babbling



From Middle English babelen, from Old English *bæblian, also wæflian (to talk foolishly), from Proto-Germanic *babalōną (to chatter), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰa-bʰa-, perhaps a reduplication of Proto-Indo-European *bʰeh₂- (to say), or a variant of Proto-Indo-European *baba- (to talk vaguely, mumble), or a merger of the two, possibly ultimately onomatopoetic/mimicry of infantile sounds. Cognate with Old Frisian babbelje (to babble), Old Norse babbla (to babble) (Swedish babbla), Middle Low German babbelen (to babble), Dutch babbelen (to babble, chat), German pappeln and babbeln (to babble).


  • IPA(key): /ˈbæb.l̩/
  • Rhymes: -æbəl


babble (third-person singular simple present babbles, present participle babbling, simple past and past participle babbled)

  1. (intransitive) To utter words indistinctly or unintelligibly; to utter inarticulate sounds
  2. (intransitive) To talk incoherently; to utter meaningless words.
  3. (intransitive) To talk too much; to chatter; to prattle.
  4. (intransitive) To make a continuous murmuring noise, like shallow water running over stones.
    • 1815, William Wordsworth, Extracts from Descriptive Sketches
      In every babbling brook he finds a friend.
  5. (transitive) To utter in an indistinct or incoherent way; to repeat words or sounds in a childish way without understanding.
    • 1712, John Arbuthnot, The History of John Bull
      These [words] he used to babble indifferently in all companies.
  6. (transitive) To reveal; to give away (a secret).



babble (usually uncountable, plural babbles)

  1. Idle talk; senseless prattle
    Synonyms: gabble, twaddle
    • 1634, John Milton, Comus, a Mask, line 823:
      This is mere moral babble.
  2. Inarticulate speech; constant or confused murmur.
    • 1871, Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex
      The babble of our young children.
  3. A sound like that of water gently flowing around obstructions.
    • ?, Alfred Tennyson, Mariana
      The babble of the stream.


  • See also Thesaurus:chatter



See also

  • babblement
  • babblery


  • babble in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.




  1. inflection of babbeln:
    1. first-person singular present
    2. first/third-person singular subjunctive I
    3. singular imperative



babbling (countable and uncountable, plural babblings)

  1. (uncountable) a stage in child language acquisition, during which an infant appears to be experimenting with uttering sounds of language, but not yet producing any recognizable words
  2. (countable, uncountable) sounds produced by infant during the babbling period
  3. (countable, uncountable) Idle senseless talk; prattle.
  4. (countable, uncountable) A confused murmur, as of a stream.




  1. present participle of babble


  • blabbing

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