Definition of burble in US English:



[no object]
  • 1Make a continuous murmuring noise.

    ‘the wind burbled at his ear’
    • ‘All over the world, bottles of red wine are being uncorked and coffee percolators are burbling away pleasantly in anticipation: it must be time for Norah Jones's second album.’
    • ‘He drew deeply on his hookah, wheezing and coughing, making it burble and bubble in the still air.’
    • ‘As the last piece of meat is born away across the marina and the crowd slowly disperses, we wash the boat and ourselves down and then tow the filleted carcass out to sea, the little outboard burbling happily on whiskey fumes in the darkness.’
    • ‘‘Summer Rain’ is a pleasant bossa-nova shuffle, highlighted by a muted trumpet burbling through the verses.’
    • ‘Pink streamers swirled from my sodden jeans, tendrils of crimson whipping off into the water burbling around my boots.’
    • ‘With the V twin burbling away it is a very comfortable and relaxing bike to ride at 110 km/h on the highway.’
    • ‘It had a trout stream burbling through the middle of it - I didn't fish - and too many ruined barns to do up.’
    • ‘You could run along the path at midnight, hard earth under your feet, the creek burbling along beside you - and the experience was exactly what you would have had one hundred years ago.’
    • ‘With the engine still burbling away, I strapped myself in.’
    • ‘I jammed my head over the railing on the gorge's upstream side: nothing but the pretty stream burbling over rocks and between snowbanks 70 feet below.’
    • ‘The engine started, burbled away cheerfully for a while and then stopped.’
    • ‘A small house stood in the middle of the glade, a brook burbling next to it.’
    • ‘As the larger yachts and cruisers burbled into harbour it gave the added fascination of playing spot the millionaire; but everyone here dressed down and ‘distressed casual’ was definitely the look.’
    • ‘At this pleasant Victorian seaside resort, they fry in oversized skillets burbling with oil - and heaps of sliced onions.’
    • ‘I walked in rain and got kissed and saw bright green grass and heard a creek burbling and that was good.’
    • ‘Sucking and burbling, the water was whipped into a clockwise motion and the whole course changed.’
    • ‘And the fountains burbling in the background are very soothing.’
    • ‘There's a coffee machine burbling invitingly several feet away, just beyond my reach.’
    • ‘Cristophe is complaining about Wizards of the Coast while Seb gets the coffee-maker burbling.’
    • ‘Flashlight was sinus infection listening - all bass swell and muffled percussion burbling beneath tattered acoustic overlay.’
    gurgle, bubble, murmur, purr, purl, tinkle, whir, drone, rumble, buzz, hum
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    1. 1.1 Speak in an unintelligible or silly way, typically at unnecessary length.
      ‘he burbled on about annuities’
      with object ‘he was burbling inanities’
      • ‘He could have burbled on, said things he didn't mean to say, kept it going just for appearances.’
      • ‘Now I am hiding in my room sniggering & eating ice cream, & in a second I'll probably start giggling uncontrollably & burbling about Jim Morrison.’
      • ‘She burbles out some sympathetic remarks and says ‘We've all had to wait around too you know!’’
      • ‘So I'm just going to keep randomly burbling away until I've completed 100 posts.’
      • ‘Read any supermodel burbling on about the ‘secret’ of her breathtaking beauty and she'll confide, ‘I drink lots of water.’’
      • ‘It is quite absurd, not to mention infuriating, to have some moron from Sky burbling on about the next attraction when one has not had time to absorb the emotion from the film one has just seen.’
      • ‘As we chatted, his infant son burbled happily in the background.’
      • ‘Around the conference table, eight extremely believable-looking exec types, many with the faces of prominent local actors, glare him down as he burbles.’
      • ‘Lloyd Goodrich, an ex-director of the Whitney, burbled about the caricaturist's ‘designs of such complexity, completeness, and control.’’
      • ‘‘The living world,’ she burbles, ‘is made of rainbows within rainbows, in an endless progression.’’
      • ‘Later a man is seen crying in the sand, burbling: ‘I've ruined my life.’’
      • ‘Last time I watched, there was some blonde buffoon on Question Time, burbling in an anachronistic fashion about something or the other.’
      • ‘The lot in front of me never seem to contribute much, but tonight they dumped the kids and brought their quiet mates along, who burbled about how ‘exciting’ the game was when we were 2-down at half time.’
      • ‘And along beside Mott's Road the stream is gurgling, babbling, chattering, bubbling, giggling, chortling, burbling - so many words to express the natural joy, the hilarity of nature doing what it does best: glorifying God in its self.’
      • ‘Nelly burbles about ‘not wanting to hide behind metaphor ‘and uncovering her ‘wiser self‘.’
      • ‘He then burbles on for a while about how he didn't come to the jungle to win (he actually seems to think winning means something tangible, like winning Wimbledon) and then claims he plays ‘a bigger - or smaller’ game.’
      • ‘‘The delivery model for service on this airline could easily be workshopped into a far more efficient, customer-oriented system than the shambles in front of us today,’ the man on my right burbled.’
      • ‘We sit down to talk in an upstairs boardroom and are joined by Sylla's young nephew, who burbles quietly to himself then falls asleep.’
      • ‘As I handed her the key she burbled, ‘Thank you so much!’’
      • ‘For months I've been wandering around, burbling about how crazily happy I am, scared it would end since I don't know how it started.’
      • ‘Good thing she got her column done before Paul Hamm's victory yesterday, because it would have messed up the theme of American defeat she's burbling over.’
      prattle, blather, blether, blither, babble, babble on, gabble, prate, drivel, rattle away, rattle on, ramble, maunder, go on, run on, talk at length, talk incessantly, talk a lot
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    2. 1.2often as noun burblingAeronautics (of an airflow) break up into turbulence.
      • ‘Just before a wing stalls, the airflow "burbles," or becomes turbulent over the upper surface of the wing.’
      • ‘At greater than approximately 110-120 kias (altitude 1200-3500ft) there is significant buffeting or burbling of airflow felt in the airframe.’
      • ‘The airflow over the tail was burbling and that is when I lost control.’


  • 1Continuous murmuring noise.

    • ‘The wind burble was - you guessed it - rotor wash.’
    • ‘As he steps away, the pilot hears a deep and powerful burble, which immediately repeats itself and seems to emanate from somewhere in the bowels of the plane.’
    • ‘He could hear the burble of a small stream and quickened his pace, grinning when he saw the water.’
    • ‘Hinting at the soulful surplus of house music, Melchior works with tiny elements: a burble of a bassline, a snippet of singing, and hi-hat drums that point toward the heavens without lifting their arms.’
    • ‘Start the engine and there is a pleasant burble from the back.’
    • ‘The power delivery is seamless, the engine note rising from a deep burble like a powerboat tethered to a jetty to a howl like a Formula One car.’
    • ‘As she crests the ridge, high above the water, she catches the first white-noise burble.’
    • ‘He felt excitement as a burble of acid at the base of his throat and stomach.’
    • ‘Once on the move you find the SP exhaust produces a nice note at low revs - not that loud, but with a sporty burble (in a four-pot way).’
    • ‘The engine kicks into life - but not so much with a deep-throated roar as a pleasing, tinny burble.’
    • ‘There are times when sound cues are used (a jingle of wind chimes, the burble of water), and the aural presentation here emphasizes them nicely.’
    • ‘Wesley's muffled weeping rises over the burble of the respirators.’
    • ‘Once on the move the steering lightens up and provides all the feel you'd expect from a fully manual system, while the V6 emits a subdued burble.’
    • ‘And if properly looked after, the big V8 is a lovely motor that will behave itself and deliver a low, buttery burble as you cruise along.’
    • ‘The flowers and bushes are in bloom; flox cossets the rocks on the neighbor's front lawn; at night you can hear the burble of a waterfall across the street.’
    • ‘I remain a big fan of the engine though - the throaty burble they emanate still sends a chill up my spine each time I hear one.’
    • ‘It's happiest cruising at sedate velocities and is particularly enjoyable topless, when the V-8's dual-exhaust burble can be best appreciated.’
    • ‘With only the burble of the fountain to create an illusion of coolness, I avoided any color that suggested heat.’
    • ‘When cruising effortlessly at 100 km/h with the six-speed auto in top it's doing just 1600 rpm, but get on the gas and it sprints away, emitting a nice V8 burble in the process.’
    • ‘Gensets with integral sound shields can be very quiet, especially when fitted with exhaust systems that separate cooling water from the exhaust gas, avoiding the annoying burble/splash of the conventional exhaust system.’
    burble, babble, purl, gurgle
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    1. 1.1 Rambling speech.
      ‘an hour of boring burble’
      • ‘So… you need a Famous Writer, or at a pinch, a Famous Reviewer (which is all too often an oxymoron) to produce the necessary burble for the blurb.’
      • ‘The less robust sauna inhabitants start to fill the sauna with a burble of profanity, as they pray that their eyes don't boil and explode.’
      • ‘Chattering, always chattering with the indecipherable burble of an audience.’
      • ‘It's accumulated about a million words of burble over nearly four years.’
      • ‘It's not conversation but the complacent burble of a radio on a windowsill.’
      • ‘In a spoken statement, use of these terms above a certain threshold renders understanding impossible, and turns strings of words into a calming but meaningless background burble.’
      • ‘So much babble and burble is spoken about the internet and cyber-space that I almost recoil from it but the web conforms entirely to the free market idea of an end-independent spontaneous order.’
      lengthy explanation, lengthy story, saga, yarn, recitation, burble, burbling, maundering, shaggy-dog story
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Middle English (in the sense ‘to bubble’): imitative. Current senses date from the late 19th century.