1

rabble

noun rab·ble \ ˈra-bəl \

Definition of rabble

1 :a disorganized or confused collection of things
2 a :a disorganized or disorderly crowd of people :mob
b :the lowest class of people

rabble was our Word of the Day on 02/16/2012. Hear the podcast!

Examples of rabble in a Sentence

  1. the crown prince was reminded that even the rabble of the realm deserved his attention and compassion

Recent Examples of rabble from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rabble.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Rabble has been with the English language since its appearance in Middle English (as "rabel") in the late 1300s. It may have come from the Middle English verb "rabel" which meant "to babble." (Despite the similarity in sound and meaning, however, "babble" and "rabble" are unrelated.) The verb "rabel" is related to Middle Dutch "rabbelen" and Low German rabbeln, meaning "to chatter." So how do we get from babbling to crowds of people? The connection may be the idea of confusion. "Rabble," in its earliest uses could not only indicate a pack of animals, swarm of insects, or a confused collection of things, but could also indicate a confused or meaningless string of words.

Origin and Etymology of rabble

Middle English rabel pack of animals


2

rabble

verb

Definition of rabble

rabbled; rabbling play \-b(ə-)liŋ\
transitive verb
:to insult or assault by or as a mob

First Known Use of rabble

1644



RABBLE Defined for English Language Learners

rabble

noun

Definition of rabble for English Language Learners

  • : a large group of loud people who could become violent

  • the rabble : ordinary or common people who do not have a lot of money, power, or social status


RABBLE Defined for Kids

rabble

noun rab·ble \ ˈra-bəl \

Definition of rabble for Students

1 :a crowd that is noisy and hard to control :mob
2 :a group of people looked down upon as ignorant and hard to handle


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