Main definitions of scribble in English

: scribble1scribble2

scribble1

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Write or draw (something) carelessly or hurriedly.

    ‘he took the clipboard and scribbled something illegible’
    ‘scribbled notes’
    no object ‘hastily he scribbled in the margin’
    • ‘He didn't have any choice anyway, so Kelvin scribbled his signature on the end.’
    • ‘When we got back he'd managed to scribble a few lines in his notebook with his dud hand.’
    • ‘Marcia scribbled furiously in her own notebook, apparently quite preoccupied with whatever part of her story she was writing.’
    • ‘He quickly scribbled down what he was to tell her, feeling like an idiot.’
    • ‘The waitress nodded and scribbled on her order pad, handing them menus.’
    • ‘I listened to him and I remembered my own thoughts scribbled in a diary.’
    • ‘And apparently when I was a kid; I use to scribble in books with a pen before I could even write so I was always trying to do something.’
    • ‘Lenny scribbled on his pad of paper, then turned his eyes to me.’
    • ‘He sat there the whole period grunting to himself and scribbling furiously in his notebooks.’
    • ‘I look at it curiously, my name hurriedly scribbled on the front.’
    • ‘I kept writing then scribbling out then writing again then scribbling out words at random.’
    • ‘Gabrielle was furiously scribbling down what she was saying when she heard another boys' voice in her ear.’
    • ‘He frowned, scribbling madly on his clipboard.’
    • ‘Officials had to place his hand on documents for him to scribble his signature.’
    • ‘I opened it and found a hastily scribbled note smudged in places by water droplets.’
    • ‘I hurriedly scribbled his phone number on a pad of paper with trembling hands and hung up.’
    • ‘They began to whisper, and one man scribbled on a spiral notepad.’
    • ‘He hastily scribbled an apologetic note and left it on Pierre's sleeping form.’
    write hurriedly, write untidily, write illegibly, scratch, scrawl, doodle, dash off, jot, jot down
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal no object Write for a living or as a hobby.
      ‘they scribbled, potted, and painted’
      • ‘I'm sure many of my colleagues are frantically scribbling away on their bestsellers in their spare time.’
      • ‘She scribbles frantically on sheets of paper, then hunts through desk drawers for more writing material.’
      • ‘To her writing was something she loved to do - she never cared whether she won plaudits from critics, she was happy to scribble whenever a story came to her.’
      • ‘And as far as I'm concerned, other people can scribble whatever they want about it.’
      • ‘In those cases, I feel duty-bound to scribble a few paragraphs.’

noun

  • A piece of writing or a picture produced carelessly or hurriedly.

    ‘illegible scribbles’
    mass noun ‘the postman would never be able to decipher your scribble’
    • ‘The brothers practice an idiom of grandly lyric, gestural abstraction - scrawls and scribbles across a compositional field of contrasting grounds, currently silk and lead.’
    • ‘You give these words, meaningless scribbles, you give them life and shape.’
    • ‘All of them contain organic, cell-like splotches, dots and drips of predominantly pastel colors that are overlaid with black lines, darker scribbles and cryptic hieroglyphs.’
    • ‘Mysterious psychedelic scribbles fill other windows, some with a figure caught within the web of marks.’
    • ‘The scribble does something besides provide a sense of enclosure, however: it creates a landmark.’
    • ‘Over each print are differently colored washes and scribbles.’
    • ‘The designers have taught me how to use proper proofing marks rather than random scribbles.’
    • ‘In some episodes where a threat lurks, the colored scribbles grow dense and fraught, mutely warning against dangers that the character is too naive to see for himself.’
    • ‘I was asleep one night in Hollywood and woke up one morning with my notepad full of scribble and I read it.’
    • ‘But is not the taking seriously of this kind of comment the equivalent of the exhibition curator placing an artist's kitchen table scribble alongside one of his major drawings?’
    • ‘Although the pilot creates confident spurts of white, the lines eventually pull apart, becoming just scribbles in the sky.’
    • ‘As is characteristic of Johns's graphic work of this time, the drawings feature freehand scribbles, carefully limned curves, erasures and tonal blurring.’
    • ‘He smears the hues and tears the forms and scribbles across the surface in a kind of eloquent frenzy.’
    • ‘Before that I made these dream journals and they were filled with poetry and scribbles.’
    • ‘The world starts making sense, and the meaningless scribbles are left behind.’
    • ‘I scratched my head and looked down at the scribbles in my notebook.’
    • ‘The students nodded and made various scribbles in their notebooks.’
    • ‘Inspired by notes and scribbles already on the pages, Byron commenced a program of drawing, painting and collage.’
    illegible handwriting, hurried handwriting, untidy handwriting, squiggle, squiggles, jottings
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: from medieval Latin scribillare, diminutive of Latin scribere ‘write’.

Pronunciation

scribble

/ˈskrɪb(ə)l/

Main definitions of scribble in English

: scribble1scribble2

scribble2

verb

[WITH OBJECT]often as noun scribbling
  • Card (wool, cotton, etc.) coarsely.

    ‘machinery used for scribbling and spinning’
    • ‘The first set of papers is the diary, from 1808 to 1814, of Joseph Rogerson, who ran a mill to which the clothiers brought their wool to be scribbled and prepared for spinning.’
    • ‘Afterwards it is oiled with Gallipoli oil, scribbled, carded, slabed, and spun.’
    • ‘It derives its name from Scribbling Herse, a frame on which the cloth when first made was stretched in order that it might be scribbled.’

Origin

Late 17th century: probably from Low German; compare with German schrubbeln (in the same sense), frequentative of Low German schrubben ‘to scrub’.

Pronunciation

scribble

/ˈskrɪb(ə)l/