: 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."