Main definitions of scribble in US 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’
    • ‘Officials had to place his hand on documents for him to scribble his signature.’
    • ‘Gabrielle was furiously scribbling down what she was saying when she heard another boys' voice in her ear.’
    • ‘Marcia scribbled furiously in her own notebook, apparently quite preoccupied with whatever part of her story she was writing.’
    • ‘The waitress nodded and scribbled on her order pad, handing them menus.’
    • ‘He quickly scribbled down what he was to tell her, feeling like an idiot.’
    • ‘He sat there the whole period grunting to himself and scribbling furiously in his notebooks.’
    • ‘I opened it and found a hastily scribbled note smudged in places by water droplets.’
    • ‘I kept writing then scribbling out then writing again then scribbling out words at random.’
    • ‘Lenny scribbled on his pad of paper, then turned his eyes to me.’
    • ‘I hurriedly scribbled his phone number on a pad of paper with trembling hands and hung up.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They began to whisper, and one man scribbled on a spiral notepad.’
    • ‘I look at it curiously, my name hurriedly scribbled on the front.’
    • ‘When we got back he'd managed to scribble a few lines in his notebook with his dud hand.’
    • ‘He frowned, scribbling madly on his clipboard.’
    • ‘He didn't have any choice anyway, so Kelvin scribbled his signature on the end.’
    • ‘I listened to him and I remembered my own thoughts scribbled in a diary.’
    • ‘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.
      ‘she spent her last years scribbling and painting’
      • ‘She scribbles frantically on sheets of paper, then hunts through desk drawers for more writing material.’
      • ‘In those cases, I feel duty-bound to scribble a few paragraphs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I'm sure many of my colleagues are frantically scribbling away on their bestsellers in their spare time.’

noun

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

    ‘illegible scribbles’
    ‘he would never be able to decipher your scribble’
    • ‘Before that I made these dream journals and they were filled with poetry and scribbles.’
    • ‘I was asleep one night in Hollywood and woke up one morning with my notepad full of scribble and I read it.’
    • ‘The students nodded and made various scribbles in their notebooks.’
    • ‘The brothers practice an idiom of grandly lyric, gestural abstraction - scrawls and scribbles across a compositional field of contrasting grounds, currently silk and lead.’
    • ‘Mysterious psychedelic scribbles fill other windows, some with a figure caught within the web of marks.’
    • ‘The world starts making sense, and the meaningless scribbles are left behind.’
    • ‘The scribble does something besides provide a sense of enclosure, however: it creates a landmark.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He smears the hues and tears the forms and scribbles across the surface in a kind of eloquent frenzy.’
    • ‘The designers have taught me how to use proper proofing marks rather than random scribbles.’
    • ‘I scratched my head and looked down at the scribbles in my notebook.’
    • ‘You give these words, meaningless scribbles, you give them life and shape.’
    • ‘Inspired by notes and scribbles already on the pages, Byron commenced a program of drawing, painting and collage.’
    • ‘Over each print are differently colored washes and scribbles.’
    • ‘Although the pilot creates confident spurts of white, the lines eventually pull apart, becoming just scribbles in the sky.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘As is characteristic of Johns's graphic work of this time, the drawings feature freehand scribbles, carefully limned curves, erasures and tonal blurring.’
    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

/ˈskribəl//ˈskrɪbəl/

Main definitions of scribble in US English:

: scribble1scribble2

scribble2

verb

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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Afterwards it is oiled with Gallipoli oil, scribbled, carded, slabed, and spun.’

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

/ˈskribəl//ˈskrɪbəl/