To partake in a conversation whilst not paying attention to the other people conversing, making it seem as if you're listening while you're really not. For best effect, you must look attentive, and nod and say general responses such as "yep" throughout the conversation. It also helps to occasionally repeat the last word of the sentence the other person had just said for added effect (e.g. "so the other day, I went to see a light show--" "a light show?"). An expert gumbler knows when to recognize a question being posed and quickly backtrack as to sufficiently answer the question. Named after Bryant Gumbel, who is rumored to do interviews while not actually paying attention to the interviewee.

Spelling: gumbel; gumbled; gumbeling; gumbler (one who gumbels).
Person A: We were talking about her past dating experiences, but then she started talking about her family and I started gumbeling.
Person B: Yup...
Person A: She almost noticed, too, because I stumbled over my words when she asked if I remembered her Aunt Lucy.
Person B: Her Aunt Lucy?
Person A: Yeah, thankfully I was able to divert the question and I got by.
Person B: Ah.
Person A: Are you gumbeling right now?
Person B: Of course not!

---

In this conversation, person A is telling about his experience gumbeling, while being gumbled himself. Person A is obviously still a novice, having tripped up in a gumbeling attempt, but person B is quite the expert, convincingly gumbeling and even managing to reassure the other that he is not being gumbled.
by Cifer17 May 02, 2009

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