noun

  • 1[in singular] The sound of people talking quickly and in a way that is difficult or impossible to understand.

    ‘a babble of protest’
    • ‘This was what the crowd had come for and every time Caucau received the ball after that there was a babble of anticipation.’
    • ‘Sitting outside the bar there is a light babble of a foreign tongue trilling off the tongues of groups of people enjoying leisurely drinks.’
    • ‘This mimics the tone of real speech but sounds like the incomprehensible babble of those claymation shows on the ABC in the 1980s.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When I went down to visit her we spoke in the babble that sounded to other people like a language.’
    • ‘Instead, American viewers will have to strain to make out whole words from the constant babble of wild sound and West Indian accents.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Just the babble of the 24-hour television newscasters.’
    • ‘In the background he could hear the voices of the passengers asking the same question in a babble of noise.’
    • ‘This is the babble of many tongues as they are simultaneously translated in the glass towers in the stone city.’
    • ‘Then a babble of talk and tension-relieving laughter breaks out.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If you set a tape recorder running at a noisy party you would most likely hear something resembling a confused babble.’
    • ‘I banged the book shut and silenced the babble of my inner teachers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    clamour, din, racket, confused noise, tumult, uproar, hubbub
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Foolish, excited, or confused talk.
      ‘her soft voice stopped his babble’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 stopped her excited babble and grabbed my wrist, dragging me off to math class.’
      • ‘He took my face in his hands and kissed me, silencing my endless stream of mindless babble.’
      • ‘She had also said many other things, but to Mary it had seemed like insensible babble.’
      • ‘She had continued her endless babble when I realised that she was looking at me some what expectantly.’
      • ‘Although she was odd, silently I knew I enjoyed her 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.’
      • ‘He had merely stood there, tall and silent, piercing her with his incessant gaze, until her words had died to a senseless babble.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Um, well if I'm decipher that pile of babble correctly… are you offering me a job?’
      • ‘Some said maybe he was Swedish, but his incomprehensible babble was little help in discovering his identity.’
      • ‘She does seem very quick to understand my situation from the tearful babble which comes out of me when I see her.’
      • ‘He gets in touch with his Indian heritage and a wisdom drenched phrase bubbles through his drunken 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2The continuous murmuring sound of water flowing over stones in a stream.
      ‘the babble of a brook’
      • ‘In the silence of the grove, she heard the pleasant babble of the stream, except that it was no longer a quiet sloshing.’
      • ‘From up stream came the babble of the brook like dainty laughter.’
      • ‘The sounds coming from the workshops combine with the babble of the stream to create an authentic atmosphere of the settlement of old.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In plants, a babble of water and small molecules flows through the plasmodesmata between cells.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3Background disturbance caused by interference from conversations on other telephone lines.
      • ‘The resulting babble of overlapping signals can confuse the receiver.’
      • ‘To test this, we added background babble (from the SPIN-R test) and replicated the experiment with another group of younger listeners.’

Pronunciation:

babble

/ˈbabəl/