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Middle French volubile, from Latin volūbilis (rolling), from volvō (I roll).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈvɒl.jʊ.bəl/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈvɑl.jə.bəl/
  • (file)


voluble (comparative more voluble, superlative most voluble)

  1. (of a person or a manner of speaking) Fluent or having a ready flow of speech; garrulous or loquacious; tonguey.
    • c. 1595, William Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost, act 3, scene 1:
      A most acute juvenal; voluble and free of grace!
    • 1853, Charlotte Brontë, Villette, ch. 19:
      What fun shone in his eyes as he recalled some of her fine speeches, and repeated them, imitating her voluble delivery!
    • 1904, Jack London, The Sea Wolf, ch. 26:
      But Wolf Larsen seemed voluble, prone to speech as I had never seen him before.
  2. (of thoughts, feelings, or something that is expressed) Expressed readily or at length and in a fluent manner.
    • 1649, John Milton, Eikonoklastes:
      now to the discourse itself, voluble enough, and full of sentence, but that, for the most part, either specious rather than solid, or to his cause nothing pertinent.
    • 1886, William Dean Howells, The Minister's Charge, ch. 6:
      [H]e heard the voice of the drunken woman, now sober, poured out in voluble remorse, and in voluble promise of amendment for the future, to every one who passed, if they would let her off easy.
    • 1910, H. H. Munro, "The Reticence of Lady Anne" in Reginald in Russia and Other Sketches:
      As a rule Lady Anne's displeasure became articulate and markedly voluble after four minutes of introductory muteness.
    • 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses, Episode 9:
      In the daylit corridor he talked with voluble pains of zeal.
  3. Easily rolling or turning; having a fluid, undulating motion.
    • 1935, Leonard Barnes, Zulu Paraclete: A Sentimental Record, Peter Davies, page 22:
      Seen from the west, their sky-line gallops away north and south like a sea-serpent in voluble motion.
  4. (botany) Twisting and turning like a vine.



Related termsEdit




From Latin volūbilis.


  • IPA(key): /boˈluble/, [boˈluβle]


voluble (plural volubles)

  1. voluble; fickle

Further readingEdit