What does scribble mean?

Definitions for scribble
ˈskrɪb əlscrib·ble

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word scribble.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. scribble, scratch, scrawl, cacographynoun

    poor handwriting

  2. scribble, scrabble, doodleverb

    an aimless drawing

  3. scribble, scrabbleverb

    write down quickly without much attention to detail

  4. scribble, scrawlverb

    write carelessly


  1. scribblenoun

    Careless, hasty writing or drawing

  2. scribbleverb

    To write or draw carelessly and in a hurry

  3. scribbleverb

    To doodle

  4. scribbleverb

    To card or tease (wool) coarsely; to run through a scribbler.

  5. Etymology: From early modern English scrible, frequentive of scribe.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Scribblenoun

    Worthless writing.

    Etymology: from the verb.

    By solemnly endeavouring to countenance my conjectures, I might be thought dogmatical in a hasty scribble. Boyle.

    If it struck the present taste, it was soon transferred into the plays and current scribbles of the week, and became an addition to our language. Jonathan Swift.

  2. To SCRIBBLEverb

    Etymology: scribo, scribillo, Latin.

    How gird the sphere
    With centrick and eccentrick, scribbl’d o’er
    Cycle and epicycle, orb in orb. John Milton, Paradise Lost.

  3. To Scribbleverb

    To write without care or beauty.

    If a man should affirm, that an ape casually meeting with pen, ink and paper, and falling to scribble, did happen to write exactly the Leviathan of Hobbes, would an atheist believe such a story? And yet he can easily digest things as incredible as that. Richard Bentley.

    If Mævius scribble in Apollo’s spite,
    There are, who judge still worse than he can write. Alexander Pope.

    Leave flattery to fulsome dedicators,
    Whom, when they praise, the world believes no more
    Than when they promise to give scribbling o’er. Alexander Pope.


  1. scribble

    A doodle is a drawing made while a person's attention is otherwise occupied. Doodles are simple drawings that can have concrete representational meaning or may just be composed of random and abstract lines or shapes, generally without ever lifting the drawing device from the paper, in which case it is usually called a scribble. Doodling and scribbling are most often associated with young children and toddlers, because their lack of hand–eye coordination and lower mental development often make it very difficult for any young child to keep their coloring attempts within the line art of the subject. Despite this, it is not uncommon to see such behavior with adults, in which case it is generally done jovially, out of boredom. Typical examples of doodling are found in school notebooks, often in the margins, drawn by students daydreaming or losing interest during class. Other common examples of doodling are produced during long telephone conversations if a pen and paper are available. Popular kinds of doodles include cartoon versions of teachers or companions in a school, famous TV or comic characters, invented fictional beings, landscapes, geometric shapes, patterns, textures, or phallic scenes. Most people who doodle often remake the same shape or type of doodle throughout their lifetime.


  1. scribble

    Scribble is a verb that generally refers to the act of quickly and carelessly drawing or writing something in a hasty or illegible manner. It often involves making random or chaotic marks without a clear purpose or intent. Scribbling can be done with various writing implements such as pens, pencils, or markers on any surface. It is commonly associated with spontaneous or informal writing or doodling.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Scribbleverb

    to card coarsely; to run through the scribbling machine

  2. Scribbleverb

    to write hastily or carelessly, without regard to correctness or elegance; as, to scribble a letter

  3. Scribbleverb

    to fill or cover with careless or worthless writing

  4. Scribbleverb

    to write without care, elegance, or value; to scrawl

  5. Scribblenoun

    hasty or careless writing; a writing of little value; a scrawl; as, a hasty scribble

  6. Etymology: [From Scribe.]


  1. Scribble

    A scribble is a drawing composed of random and abstract lines, generally without ever lifting the drawing device off of the paper. Scribbling is most often associated with young children and toddlers, because their lack of hand–eye coordination and lower mental development often make it very difficult for any young child to keep their coloring attempts within the line art of the subject. Adults also scribble, although generally it is done jovially, out of boredom, as a form of abstract art, or to see if a pen works. Scribbles are also a kind of web graphics, often associated with pixels and cute websites. They are entirely different from pixeling, as instead of carefully drawing the graphics pixel by pixel, the picture is made by drawing quickly around the outline of object a number of times – this gives the scribbly effect. The result is a very loosely drawn, sketchy artwork. A scribble can also refer to a roughly drawn representation of a design. The term scribble is often used in software design circles to mean a quickly drawn representation of a computer-program or web-site layout.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Scribble

    skrib′l, v.t. to scratch or write carelessly: to fill with worthless writing.—v.i. to write carelessly: to scrawl.—n. careless writing: a scrawl.—ns. Scribb′ler, a petty author; Scribb′ling, the act of writing hastily or carelessly.—adv. Scribb′lingly.—n.pl. Scribb′lings. [A freq. of scribe.]

  2. Scribble

    skrib′l, v.t. to card roughly, as wool.—ns. Scribb′ler, a machine for doing this, or a person who tends such; Scribb′ling, the first carding of wool or cotton; Scribb′ling-machine′, a coarse form of carding-machine. [Scand., Sw. skrubbla, to card.]

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. scribble

    To modify a data structure in a random and unintentionally destructive way. “Bletch! Somebody's disk-compactor program went berserk and scribbled on the i-node table.” “It was working fine until one of the allocation routines scribbled on low core.” Synonymous with trash; compare mung, which conveys a bit more intention, and mangle, which is more violent and final.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce scribble?

How to say scribble in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of scribble in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of scribble in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of scribble in a Sentence

  1. Karl Buhler, 1930:

    By the time the child can draw more that scribble, by the age of four or five years, an already well-formed body of conceptual knowledge formulated in language dominates his memory and controls his graphic work. Drawings are graphic accounts of essentially verbal processes. As an essentially verbal education gains control, the child abandons his graphic efforts and relies almost entirely on words. Language has first spoilt drawing and then swallowed it up completely.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for scribble

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for scribble »


Find a translation for the scribble definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"scribble." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 10 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/scribble>.

Discuss these scribble definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for scribble? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    soft creamy candy
    • A. fudge
    • B. deny
    • C. observe
    • D. emerge

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for scribble: