A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Babble (verb)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 190

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 190

To Ba'bble. v.n. [babbeln, Germ. babiller, Fr.]

  1. To prattle like a child; to prate imperfectly.

    My babbling praises I repeat no more,
    But hear, rejoice, stand silent, and adore.

  2. To talk idly, or irrationally.

    John had conned over a catalogue of hard words; these he used to babble indifferently in all companies. Arbuthn. J. Bull.

                    Let the silent sanctuary show,
    What from the babbling schools we may not know.

  3. To talk thoughtlessly; to tell secrets.

    There is more danger in a reserved and silent friend, than in a noisy babbling enemy. L'Estrange.

  4. To talk much.

            The babbling echo mocks the hounds,
    Replying shrilly to the well tun'd horns,
    As if a double hunt were heard at once.
    Shakesp. Tit. Andr.

    And had I pow'r to give that knowledge birth,
    In all the speeches of the babbling earth.

    The babbling echo had descry'd his face;
    She, who in others words her silence breaks.
    Addison's Ovid.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Arbuthnot, John (227) · L'Estrange, Roger (131) · Prior, Matthew (162) · Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus (16)

Attributes: French (385) · German (30) · Verb Neuter (131)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Babble (verb)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 25, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/babble-verb/.

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