Definition of rambling in English:



  • 1(of writing or speech) lengthy and confused or inconsequential.

    ‘a rambling six-hour speech’
    ‘Scott's letter was long and rambling’
    • ‘I want the transcripts to be a reasonably accurate record insofar as that's possible: however, I'm amazed by how incoherent and rambling I appear to have been.’
    • ‘He would tell us rambling stories - such as the one about two flies called Izzy and Dizzy who travelled about the country staying in cheap lodgings - perhaps based on his own recollection.’
    • ‘The full explanation by the artist of the new work was sent out to journalists and the Oxley Gallery mailing list in the form of a rambling and incoherent press release which we reproduced here in full last month.’
    • ‘In fact you'll find it's fairly long and rambling.’
    • ‘He began to write rambling letters about black holes and plagued his mother with unanswerable questions.’
    • ‘Though he wasn't trying to delay congressional action, his rambling speech had that effect.’
    • ‘Condensing lengthy, rambling stories written in different styles into a coherent narrative is a difficult task.’
    • ‘In front of the world's golf media, the 13-time PGA Tour winner gave a long, rambling and often confusing account of his own life and times.’
    • ‘And most of what he said was rambling, incoherent and quite clearly not said with me as the listener in mind.’
    • ‘His rambling writing style just lacks precision.’
    • ‘It's tough reading through rambling speeches, but he has some worthy food for thought.’
    • ‘Corbett never swears on stage and is most famous for his gently rambling monologues and long digressions.’
    • ‘Amid the rambling dialogue and semi-lucid metaphors we become privy to a sense of the director's desperation to conjure up some kind of meaning.’
    • ‘King himself made what some present described as a rambling speech.’
    • ‘At this point, I'm very tempted to fall into a rambling rant of some form (nothing new there), but for some reason today, I just don't feel like it.’
    • ‘I hope that my rambling answer fully addressed your thought-provoking question, Matthew.’
    • ‘I feel like writing a long, rambling sort of entry, with lots of tangents and absolutely no warnings as to when I'm going to change the topic.’
    • ‘For some reason my comments today are a bit rambling and I'm pretending we're having a real conversation - which I suppose we're not.’
    • ‘I can tell that this is going to be one of those long-winded, rambling posts about nothing at all.’
    • ‘That all changed with The Surgeon of Crowthorne, the gently rambling tale of the writing of the Oxford English Dictionary's first edition.’
    long-winded, garrulous, verbose, wordy, prolix
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  • 2(of a plant) putting out long shoots and growing over walls or other plants.

    ‘rambling roses’
    • ‘His brother Richard's cremated remains are in the same garden, under a white rambling rose bush planted by him and his mother, Estella.’
    • ‘The pergola is perfect for growing rambling roses.’
    • ‘My rambling rose is ‘Kew Rambler’ which we have planted at the foot of a large cherry tree.’
    • ‘Deter intruders and enchant your neighbours with rambling roses on walls or fences.’
    • ‘Around the barn a flagged terrace is encircled by cottage garden plants, such as delphiniums, rambling roses, geraniums, dianthus and lupins.’
    • ‘Prune rambling roses by cutting down to ground level growths that have flowered this year.’
    • ‘We've kept it simple, warm and welcoming, and have avoided the urge to dress it with rambling roses and ornament of any kind.’
    • ‘Linda also admired the white rambling roses round a swimming pool while the couple were on holiday: there is now a bank up by the immaculate croquet lawn planted with 12,000 of them.’
    • ‘At first, weeding the garden pained me as I had grown to love the rambling weeds and all the wonders that they had to offer.’
    • ‘Large-leaved vines and white rambling roses will clothe the walls of the castle to give a romantic effect.’
    • ‘For many, roses are the symbol of a well-cared-for home, evoking images of that picket-fenced cottage awash with rambling roses.’
    • ‘In the distance you can see a number of rambling, overgrown hawthorns with a tree growing through them.’
    trailing, creeping, straggling, vining, prostrate
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    1. 2.1 (of a building or path) spreading or winding irregularly in various directions.
      ‘a big old rambling house’
      • ‘The previous campus home for the arts program was a series of rambling barns.’
      • ‘Winnie Burke of Sooey recalls when her home was ‘a rambling house’ like many were in those days.’
      • ‘At the corner of Pottery Road is the large rambling house well over 100 years old belonging to K G Shashidhar.’
      • ‘This rambling temple complex is the largest wooden building in the world.’
      • ‘After the war the rambling building was turned into an hotel by the Ferruccio family.’
      • ‘The family lived in a large rambling house on Hamond Street (now called Orleans).’
      • ‘It boasted three rambling houses, a school and a post office.’
      • ‘Leaving his rambling ranch house in fashionable North Dallas, he drove his Jaguar to his psychiatric offices.’
      • ‘This rambling museum is the antithesis of modern interpretative centres.’
      • ‘The owners, Gregory and Celeste Shade, bought the huge, rambling house on Brookover Street more or less on a whim.’
      • ‘Over the course of his life he built this great series of vast rambling palaces, one after the other.’
      • ‘Although in poor condition, refurbishment has already begun on this rambling residence.’
      • ‘Contrast living in a small flat with a gorgeous rambling house.’
      • ‘As a teenager we lived in a large, rambling old house which creaked and groaned like an old man's knees.’
      • ‘There are numerous rambling barns and outhouses, and the gardens and two ornamental lakes are exquisite.’
      • ‘The rambling house remains in the name of his wife, Penelope, after it was bought for them by her parents in 1994.’
      • ‘Evacuated in wartime to the rambling country house of kindly Professor Kirk, they can't resist exploring its huge stairways.’
      • ‘This rambling home has a sumptuous interior and manicured grounds but is not particularly close to any large urban centres.’
      • ‘He braked outside a rambling Tudor-style house that had been recently converted into apartments.’
      • ‘They renovated the dilapidated and rambling buildings as much as they could afford to and began to update the studio's ageing equipment.’
      winding, twisting, twisty, labyrinthine
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    2. 2.2 (of a person) travelling from place to place; wandering.
      ‘a rambling man’


mass noun
  • The activity of walking in the countryside for pleasure.

    as modifier ‘a rambling club’
    • ‘After much leisurely rambling, we made tracks for Provincetown, a charming seaside town.’
    • ‘If rambling in the countryside and breathing fresh air works better, then get your boots on…’
    • ‘Lose a spouse and find another, lose a job and retrain for another, give up mountaineering and take up rambling.’