tr.v. gar·bled, gar·bling, gar·bles
1. To mix up or distort to such an extent as to make misleading or incomprehensible: The report garbled all the historical facts.
2. To scramble (a signal or message), as by erroneous encoding or faulty transmission.
3. Archaic To sort out; cull.
The act or an instance of garbling: a garble of nonsense syllables.
[Middle English garbelen, to inspect and remove refuse from spices, from Anglo-Norman garbeler, to sift, and from Medieval Latin garbellāre, both from Arabic ġarbala, to select, from ġirbāl, sieve, from Late Latin crībellum, diminutive of Latin crībrum; see krei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
garbler (-blər) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.