Meaning of babel in English:


Pronunciation /ˈbeɪbl/

See synonyms for babel

Translate babel into Spanish


in singular
  • 1A confused noise made by a number of voices.

    ‘the babel of voices on the road’
    • ‘Out of the babel of writers' voices offering their services, one dominated, that of Peter Nichols.’
    • ‘With what a babel of discordant voices does it [medicine] celebrate its two thousand years of experience!’
    • ‘With songs in Spanish, English, Mayan, and Zapotec, it reflects the babel of voices that is our ever-expanding border region.’
    • ‘This man's message is this, that amidst the babel of voices in our world, there is another word-and the essence of wisdom is to listen to this word.’
    • ‘Her reverie was broken by a babel of voices, the approach of running feet, and suddenly her vision was filled with Theo's aghast features.’
    • ‘The fair was like the crazy opposite of the academy, turning its demonstrations and its messages into a chaotic babel.’
    • ‘Cartoonists fall somewhere between these two: the commentless photographs which bear witness to events; and the babel arising from the pundits.’
    • ‘And yet he has been rejected by a polyglot babel of 25 countries, and the will of the people of Italy has been frustrated.’
    • ‘Hence the babel of Scottish accents on the UK network.’
    • ‘Said I, when the babel-like din could be tolerated no longer.’
    • ‘It would be a veritable babel here if it weren't so damn quiet!’
    • ‘He wishes the tower to stand both for the babel of nonsense which comprised the Congressional impeachment hearings and for what he sees as the seven stages of ethical hell into which all participants have plunged.’
    • ‘The city was in an uproar and the god Enlil heard the clamor and he said to the god in the council, ‘The uproar of mankind is intolerable and sleep is no longer possible by reason of the babel.’’
    • ‘They claim to have ‘the gift of tongues; ‘and to be able to comprehend the babel.’’
    • ‘Confusionism: the chairman allows the discussion to decay into a babel of competing speeches and conversations, then announces that a vote has been taken.’
    • ‘Scottish accents could still be heard amid the Australian babel, but the immigrants were far outnumbered by the Australian-born claiming Scots origin.’
    • ‘Larva echoes this multiplicity of tongues, a babel of aliens.’
    • ‘What is left is a babel of talk, of contrasting idiolects delineating the diverse characters, again well illustrated by Miola.’
    • ‘Though the Liars' cuts are supremely inaccessible, moody pieces, their chaotic, indecipherable babel plays against Oneida's monolithic tower.’
    • ‘Worse, the babel of messages from amateurs produced conflicting news about whether the ship was safe.’
    • ‘In short, there was a babel of protest and lamentation.’
    clamour, din, racket, confused noise, tumult, uproar, hubbub
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A confused situation.
      ‘the potential for confusion in this babel of textual formats is enormous’
      • ‘If we turn to various explanations of how these incidents come about and how to prevent them, we face a babel of opinions.’
      • ‘The babel of compression types and data formats make it difficult to get everything communicating properly with everything else.’
      • ‘The babel of languages used in science by the late 19th century was a good argument for a universal, ideally neutral language.’
      • ‘Allusions to the story of the Fall, I saw, glinted clear as gold through the turbulent babel of the novel's first dozen pages.’
      • ‘The errors are often funny, but always an insight into the babel of the modern world.’


Early 16th century from Babel (see Tower of Babel), where, according to the biblical story, God made the builders all speak different languages.