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 ?
Sullenly taking the offered lantern, old Fleece limped across the deck to the bulwarks; and then, with one hand dropping his light low over the sea, so as to get a good view of his congregation, with the other hand he solemnly flourished his tongs, and leaning far over the side in a mumbling voice began addressing the sharks, while Stubb, softly crawling behind, overheard all that was said.
Monty ran off towards the house mumbling to himself.
Mumbling as it worked, it repeated again and again, "Food
Again Momaya called Bukawai by name, and this time there came an answer in mumbling tones that were scarce more human than those of the beast.
An episode of humour or kindness touches and amuses him here and there--a pretty child looking at a gingerbread stall; a pretty girl blushing whilst her lover talks to her and chooses her fairing; poor Tom Fool, yonder behind the waggon, mumbling his bone with the honest family which lives by his tumbling; but the general impression is one more melancholy than mirthful.
But the second idea, petty as it was, persisted; and, after swaying and mumbling to himself for a time, after unseeingly making believe to study the crisp fresh breeze that filled the Arangi's sails and slanted her deck, and, after sillily attempting on the helmsman to portray eagle-like vigilance in his drink-swimming eyes, he lurched amidships toward Jerry.
Don't you be put out by anything," the Captain continued, mumbling rather fast.
The lady passed him a coin, there was a moment of mumbling and gesticulating, and suddenly she had him with both hands by the red cravat which girt his neck, and was shaking him as a terrier would a rat.