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Etymology 1[edit]

EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page per etymology instructions, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.


warble (third-person singular simple present warbles, present participle warbling, simple past and past participle warbled)

  1. (transitive) To modulate a tone's frequency.
  2. (transitive) To sing like a bird, especially with trills.
    • a. 1722, Matthew Prior, “Non Pareil”, in H. Bunker Wright, Monroe K. Spears, editors, The Literary Works of Matthew Prior, volume I, Second edition, Oxford: Clarendon Press, published 1971, page 683:
      Her voice more sweet than warbling sound,
      Tho’ sung by nightingale or lark,
      Her eyes such lustre dart around,
      Compar’d to them the sun is dark.
  3. (transitive) To cause to quaver or vibrate.
    • Milton
      touch the warbled string
  4. (intransitive) To be quavered or modulated; to be uttered melodiously.
    • (Can we date this quote?)
      Such strains ne'er warble in the linnet's throat.
  • (to modulate a tone's frequency): trill


warble (countable and uncountable, plural warbles)

  1. The sound of one who warbles; singing with trills or modulations.
  2. (military) In naval mine warfare, the process of varying the frequency of sound produced by a narrowband noisemaker to ensure that the frequency to which the mine will respond is covered.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English werble (at least for the noun), from Frankish werbel (mole cricket), cognate to Walloon waerbea.


warble (plural warbles)

  1. A lesion under the skin of cattle, caused by the larva of a bot fly of genus Hypoderma.
  2. A small hard swelling on a horse's back, caused by the galling of the saddle.
Derived terms[edit]