noun

  • 1in singular The confused sound of a group of people talking simultaneously.

    ‘a babble of protest’
    • ‘When I went down to visit her we spoke in the babble that sounded to other people like a language.’
    • ‘This mimics the tone of real speech but sounds like the incomprehensible babble of those claymation shows on the ABC in the 1980s.’
    • ‘The gorgeous changing colors of the high-tech map were accompanied by sound: the babble of many meteorologists overlaid by the powerful roar of wind and waves.’
    • ‘This is the babble of many tongues as they are simultaneously translated in the glass towers in the stone city.’
    • ‘After a dozen dizzying turns past stalls crammed with fruit, meat, shoes and screws, Zuniga hears a sharp animal screech above the babble of buying and selling.’
    • ‘Just the babble of the 24-hour television newscasters.’
    • ‘There was a rising babble of ‘ews’, and other sounds of sympathy and disgust.’
    • ‘From an uncertain corner in another part of the pub, there was a babble of bedlam.’
    • ‘There was a moment of silence from the others, then a babble that sounded like a catfight in a blender, some directing questions and demands at me in a torrent I couldn't follow.’
    • ‘Sitting outside the bar there is a light babble of a foreign tongue trilling off the tongues of groups of people enjoying leisurely drinks.’
    • ‘I banged the book shut and silenced the babble of my inner teachers.’
    • ‘If you set a tape recorder running at a noisy party you would most likely hear something resembling a confused babble.’
    • ‘Then a babble of talk and tension-relieving laughter breaks out.’
    • ‘This was what the crowd had come for and every time Caucau received the ball after that there was a babble of anticipation.’
    • ‘Instead, American viewers will have to strain to make out whole words from the constant babble of wild sound and West Indian accents.’
    • ‘I was enthusing to an old friend about this vibrant new Edinburgh I'd found - the packed cafe terraces, the babble of foreign tongues, the cosmopolitan atmosphere.’
    • ‘Fay ably expresses the feelings of many as they try to decipher the babble of words coming from the religious sector following the tsunami.’
    • ‘If children have minds like sponges that can absorb other languages effortlessly, my own grey matter seems to be more of a clam, clamped shut and deaf to the multilingual babble around me.’
    • ‘I'm picking these sounds out from the babble of the past, a raucous market fair of a landscape that stretches out as far as the eye can see.’
    • ‘In the background he could hear the voices of the passengers asking the same question in a babble of noise.’
    clamour, din, racket, confused noise, tumult, uproar, hubbub
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    1. 1.1 Foolish, excited, or confused talk.
      ‘her soft voice stopped his babble’
      • ‘He had merely stood there, tall and silent, piercing her with his incessant gaze, until her words had died to a senseless babble.’
      • ‘I had been waiting a very long time for this talk with the retention officer, just so I could hear his inane babble and immediately shoot down his flimsy efforts.’
      • ‘Some said maybe he was Swedish, but his incomprehensible babble was little help in discovering his identity.’
      • ‘She stopped her excited babble and grabbed my wrist, dragging me off to math class.’
      • ‘He'd be happy to tag along, and in return for putting up with his incessant babble, I would make him pay for gas, brew, and Taco Bell.’
      • ‘That way, you'll have some idea of where I'm going with all my babble.’
      • ‘Dose's continuous incoherent diatribe evokes in turn the babble of a madman, the discourse of a preacher or the conversation of a child.’
      • ‘She's makes my nonstop babble look like child's play.’
      • ‘Make you dream about him, his movements, his gregarious nature, his constant babble.’
      • ‘She pulled him off of the sofa and placed his arm around her shoulder once more, pulling him up the steps carefully, placidly listening to his babble.’
      • ‘Although she was odd, silently I knew I enjoyed her insensible babble.’
      • ‘She had also said many other things, but to Mary it had seemed like insensible babble.’
      • ‘As you can tell from my inane babble above, not much has been going on round these parts lately.’
      • ‘Lilatte shoved the pillow over her head, trying to drown out Honey's endless babble.’
      • ‘Um, well if I'm decipher that pile of babble correctly… are you offering me a job?’
      • ‘Sam can't even muster the chutzpah to blast back at a heckler with the bile we know he can spit, instead muttering some lame babble.’
      • ‘She does seem very quick to understand my situation from the tearful babble which comes out of me when I see her.’
      • ‘She had continued her endless babble when I realised that she was looking at me some what expectantly.’
      • ‘He gets in touch with his Indian heritage and a wisdom drenched phrase bubbles through his drunken babble.’
      • ‘He took my face in his hands and kissed me, silencing my endless stream of mindless babble.’
      prattle, gabble, chatter, jabber, prating, rambling, blather, blether
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    2. 1.2mass noun Background disturbance caused by interference from conversations on other telephone lines.
      • ‘To test this, we added background babble (from the SPIN-R test) and replicated the experiment with another group of younger listeners.’
      • ‘The resulting babble of overlapping signals can confuse the receiver.’
      noise, din, hubbub, clamour, row, uproar, hullabaloo, tumult, commotion, rumpus, fracas, pandemonium, clangour, brouhaha, disturbance
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  • 2The continuous murmuring sound of water flowing over stones in a stream.

    ‘the babble of a brook’
    • ‘The catacombs, and the lovingly tended graves within, have embalmed the lives and loves of centuries past in a deathly stillness, broken only by the babble of a passing brook.’
    • ‘In the silence of the grove, she heard the pleasant babble of the stream, except that it was no longer a quiet sloshing.’
    • ‘In plants, a babble of water and small molecules flows through the plasmodesmata between cells.’
    • ‘The sounds coming from the workshops combine with the babble of the stream to create an authentic atmosphere of the settlement of old.’
    • ‘From up stream came the babble of the brook like dainty laughter.’
    • ‘Today however, the high pitched beep beep of a truck in reverse, unloading lumber for a new house, could be heard over the babble of the stream.’
    • ‘In fact, I don't think he even heard me, although he was barely 20 yards away and there was no other sound but the babble of the beck.’
    • ‘The pervasive pink petals of the cherry blossom trees flutter to the ground like the soft powder of a mountain peak, while the babble of the bubbling brook pervades the air.’
    burble, purl, lap
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