Definition of jumble in English:



  • 1An untidy collection or pile of things.

    ‘the books were in a chaotic jumble’
    • ‘It does not, however, have to be a dizzying jumble of clutter.’
    • ‘Even after we had become used to the fascinating jumble of treasures piled throughout the house our visits were marked by an anticipatory, nervous excitement.’
    • ‘The stony path wound up the hill past a cave shrine and spiralled between one last jumble of boulders.’
    • ‘Actually, come to think of it, the person responsible for this here jumble of junk should be punished, not rewarded.’
    • ‘His desk is a chaotic jumble of books, journals, miscellaneous documents, and baby pictures of his three children.’
    • ‘It was more a small room, and it contained jumbles of clothes.’
    • ‘Many of the shelves are already cleared and the rest are an untidy jumble.’
    • ‘They made tracks, piling up the jumble on either side.’
    • ‘I met them in front of the tennis courts by the jumble of parked bicycles as we had decided only to find them all wearing grim faces and frowns.’
    • ‘Most had been sketchily catalogued, but many of the boxes seemed to be hastily packed jumbles of everything from cocktail napkins and concert programs to medical reports.’
    untidy heap, confused heap, clutter, muddle, mess, confusion, welter, disarray, disarrangement, tangle, litter
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    1. 1.1British [mass noun]Articles collected for a jumble sale.
      ‘we are collecting jumble for charity’
      • ‘Fund-raiser Elizabeth Sykes said that while youngsters could collect jumble with their parents, other volunteer helpers now had to undergo a police check.’
      • ‘St Sampsons Social Centre for Old People, in Church Street, was rented out on Mondays to local causes so they could hold table-top fundraising sales of jumble and bric-a-brac.’
      • ‘I started selling jumble from a table outside my house and have just kept going.’
      • ‘When, with the assistance of Lottery money and a barrage of jumble and plant sales, the village reopened its reading room, the ceremony was performed by two very old ladies.’
      • ‘Fate intervened in the form of a neighbour collecting jumble who just so happened to be a qualified knitter - and had a whole slew of like-minded friends.’
      • ‘Anyone wanting to donate jumble should take it to Wanborough Primary School, The Beanlands, on Friday between 5:30 pm and 8 pm.’
      junk, bric-a-brac, bits and pieces
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  • Mix up in a confused or untidy way.

    ‘a drawer full of letters jumbled together’
    • ‘Let's also see whether you try to make it as unreadable as you can, by jumbling up the paragraphing.’
    • ‘Though I studied Spanish in high school and college, I found myself stumbling on phrases, jumbling pronunciations and asking natives to slow down or to repeat themselves.’
    • ‘The episodes are jumbled up on the viewing order, so that won't help you at all.’
    • ‘It turns out our credit histories had been linked and jumbled.’
    • ‘On several occasions, the files have become jumbled on the removable media.’
    • ‘He tries to bring a poetic touch to his lines by jumbling the syntax of the sentences.’
    • ‘I'm still mad, and angry, and I'm jumbling things up, but I don't care.’
    • ‘Some users are purposefully misspelling or jumbling the names of songs so they are harder to track down.’
    • ‘She jumbled her keys in the keyhole and waved a quick goodbye before running up the stairs.’
    • ‘As far as I'm concerned, dreams are just your mind filing away the things that passed through your mind and got jumbled up during the day.’
    • ‘But the sound has been turned down and the mix is so jumbled that it's impossible to derive anything from them.’
    • ‘He sticks his head in and bursts into speech, jumbling news, soaps and ads!’
    • ‘When you run out of paper or the words you write are jumbled up, think of the hourglass passing sand from the top to the bottom.’
    • ‘Already the grim images of the war have become jumbled in my mind.’
    • ‘Acting out this scene, Ria was clearly agitated and she was jumbling up her lines.’
    • ‘That sounded a bit better; jumbling the words about made it sound classier.’
    • ‘A few large stones were jumbled around the clearing and a wooden slab was on the ground.’
    • ‘Thoughts were jumbled inside his head and he was having difficulty sorting them all out.’
    • ‘He noticed his sword was leaning on a guardrail instead of being jumbled together with all the rest.’
    • ‘But all of it is jumbled together in a way that at the end the reader is left empty, if amused.’
    mix up, muddle up, disarrange, disorganize, disorder, confuse, put in disarray, throw into chaos, make a shambles of
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Early 16th century: probably symbolic.