From a recent New York Times obituary of L.J. Davis, a journalist and novelist: "Mr. Davis was known among friends and editors as affable and voluble, a man who arrived at every personal encounter equipped with a capacious store of unusual facts and anecdotes he was prepared to dispense at the slightest provocation." The sentence holds hints to the meaning of voluble, which the American Heritage Dictionary defines as "Marked by a ready flow of speech; fluent." The AHD etymology: from the "Middle English, meaning moving easily, from Old French, from the Latin volūbilis, meaning revolving, fluent, from volvere, to roll."
The AHD's second definition for voluble touches on the older roots of the word:
- 2a. Turning easily on an axis; rotating.
- 2b. Botany. Twining or twisting: a voluble vine.
The OED also offers older meanings of voluble. Here are the ones that don't overlap the AHD:
- 1. Liable to change; inconstant, variable, mutable. Now rare.
- 2a. Capable of ready rotation on a centre or axis; apt to revolve or roll in this manner. Now rare.
- 2b. Of the eye: Moving readily. Obsolete.
- 2c. Capable of being rolled up.
- 3. Moving rapidly and easily, especially. with a gliding or undulating movement.