Printer Friendly



Pronunciation: \'gar-b[schwa]l\




: to change or twist the meaning or sound of <He garbled the message.>

Word History: At first the word garble meant "to sift" or "to sort or pick out." If you pick out a few misleading parts of a message and report only those parts, you distort the message, and so garble came to mean "to distort." It is the meaning "sift," however, that reflects the origin of garble. The English word garble came from an old Italian verb garbellare that meant "to sift." This word came in turn from an Arabic word gharbala that meant "sieve." The Arabs took this word ultimately from a Latin word cribellum that meant "sieve."

COPYRIGHT 2009 Merriam-Webster's Elementary Dictionary, [c] Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Dictionary entry
Publication:Merriam-Webster's Elementary Dictionary
Date:Jan 1, 2009
Previous Article:gape [1].
Next Article:garner.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters