mumbling


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mum·ble

 (mŭm′bəl)
v. mum·bled, mum·bling, mum·bles
v.tr.
1. To utter indistinctly by lowering the voice or partially closing the mouth: mumbled an insincere apology.
2. To chew slowly or ineffectively without or as if without teeth.
v.intr.
1. To speak words indistinctly, as by lowering the voice or partially closing the mouth.
2. To chew food slowly or ineffectively, as if with the gums.
n.
A low indistinct sound or utterance.

[Middle English momelen, from Middle Dutch mommelen.]

mum′bler n.
mum′bly adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.mumbling - indistinct enunciation
diction, enunciation - the articulation of speech regarded from the point of view of its intelligibility to the audience
2.mumbling - ineffectual chewing (as if without teeth)
chewing, mastication, chew, manduction - biting and grinding food in your mouth so it becomes soft enough to swallow
References in classic literature ?
Whatever it was, the rebuke was convincing, for the woman dropped her hoe and went mumbling into the house.
He'll do, said Bildad, eyeing me, and then went on spelling away at his book in a mumbling tone quite audible.
Marks had got from his pocket a greasy pocket-book, and taking a long paper from thence, he sat down, and fixing his keen black eyes on it, began mumbling over its contents: "Barnes--Shelby County--boy Jim, three hundred dollars for him, dead or alive.
He was mowing, and mumbling, and gesticulating, and drawing mystical figures in the air and on the floor, -- the regular thing, you know.
Imagine it: Those rigid, shock-headed figures, with corpsy complexions and fish glass eyes, occupying one side of the table in the constrained attitudes and dead fixedness that distinquish all men that are born of wax, and this wrinkled, smoldering old fire-eater occupying the other side, mumbling her prayers and munching her sausages in the ghostly stillness and shadowy indistinctness of a winter twilight.
She was three days without speaking; but last Tuesday she seemed rather better: she appeared as if she wanted to say something, and kept making signs to my wife and mumbling.
Again, I listen to Miss Murdstone mumbling the responses, and emphasizing all the dread words with a cruel relish.
She hung upon Estella's beauty, hung upon her words, hung upon her gestures, and sat mumbling her own trembling fingers while she looked at her, as though she were devouring the beautiful creature she had reared.
Father Wolf ran out a few paces and heard Shere Khan muttering and mumbling savagely as he tumbled about in the scrub.
With sticks and knives the man's companions fell upon the beast, while Paulvitch danced around the cursing snarling pack mumbling and screaming pleas and threats.
The man at the youth's elbow was mumbling, as if to himself: "Oh, we 're in for it now
As he persisted in his mumbling and I wanted my double to hear every word, I hit upon the notion of in- forming him that I regretted to say I was hard of hearing.