Main definitions of scribble in English

: scribble1scribble2

scribble1

verb

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

    ‘he took the clipboard and scribbled something illegible’
    ‘scribbled notes’
    [no object] ‘hastily he scribbled in the margin’
    • ‘The waitress nodded and scribbled on her order pad, handing them menus.’
    • ‘I hurriedly scribbled his phone number on a pad of paper with trembling hands and hung up.’
    • ‘He sat there the whole period grunting to himself and scribbling furiously in his notebooks.’
    • ‘He hastily scribbled an apologetic note and left it on Pierre's sleeping form.’
    • ‘I look at it curiously, my name hurriedly scribbled on the front.’
    • ‘He quickly scribbled down what he was to tell her, feeling like an idiot.’
    • ‘Officials had to place his hand on documents for him to scribble his signature.’
    • ‘I listened to him and I remembered my own thoughts scribbled in a diary.’
    • ‘They began to whisper, and one man scribbled on a spiral notepad.’
    • ‘Lenny scribbled on his pad of paper, then turned his eyes to me.’
    • ‘Marcia scribbled furiously in her own notebook, apparently quite preoccupied with whatever part of her story she was writing.’
    • ‘I kept writing then scribbling out then writing again then scribbling out words at random.’
    • ‘He didn't have any choice anyway, so Kelvin scribbled his signature on the end.’
    • ‘Gabrielle was furiously scribbling down what she was saying when she heard another boys' voice in her ear.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I opened it and found a hastily scribbled note smudged in places by water droplets.’
    • ‘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.’
    write hurriedly, write untidily, write illegibly, scratch, scrawl, doodle, dash off
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal [no object] Write for a living or as a hobby.
      ‘she spent her last years scribbling and painting’
      • ‘I'm sure many of my colleagues are frantically scribbling away on their bestsellers in their spare time.’
      • ‘In those cases, I feel duty-bound to scribble a few paragraphs.’
      • ‘She scribbles frantically on sheets of paper, then hunts through desk drawers for more writing material.’
      • ‘And as far as I'm concerned, other people can scribble whatever they want about it.’
      • ‘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.’

noun

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

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

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

scribble

/ˈskribəl/

Main definitions of scribble in 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/