rub·ble | \ ˈrə-bəl \

Definition of rubble 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : broken fragments (as of rock) resulting from the decay or destruction of a building fortifications knocked into rubble —C. S. Forester

b : a miscellaneous confused mass or group of usually broken or worthless things

2 : waterworn or rough broken stones or bricks used in coarse masonry or in filling courses of walls

3 : rough stone as it comes from the quarry


rubbled; rubbling\ˈrə-b(ə-)liŋ \

Definition of rubble (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to reduce to rubble

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Examples of rubble in a Sentence


Rescue workers managed to pull two injured people out of the rubble. The earthquake reduced the whole town to rubble.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Hamas will have to understand that there is a price to be paid.’’ Later, witnesses reported that Israeli warplanes dropped four bombs on a building near a Hamas police and security compound in Gaza City, reducing the old structure to rubble. Aron Heller,, "Israel exchanges intense fire with Hamas militants in Gaza," 14 July 2018 There is the long history of Potsdamer Platz, a busy intersection of traffic and trams — once home to Europe’s first traffic lights — that was bombed to rubble during World War II and was later unsympathetically divided by the wall. Carolina A. Miranda,, "What the dismantling of the Berlin Wall can teach us as Trump tries to build his wall," 21 June 2018 Five years later, the Red Army cascaded through the gates of Berlin, raising a Soviet flag over the Reichs-tag, and reducing the nearby former residence of Rudolf Mosse to rubble. Berthold Steinhilber, Smithsonian, "The Lost Maidens of Berlin," 24 May 2018 The flowering plants in Velu’s backyard crumpled, then her cattle died, then her home turned to rubble, and as violence continued to tear through her town, her family fled to India. Longreads, "A Chance to Rewrite History: The Women Fighters of the Tamil Tigers," 22 May 2018 But Peter is buried underneath tons of rubble — crying, injured, and feeling defeated. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "How Spider-Man: Homecoming paid homage to Steve Ditko," 7 July 2018 The terminal moraine, the mounds of rubble left behind, form much of their high ground…. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Scott Pruitt takes another significant policy step as controversies swirl," 8 June 2018 But the summit has quieted down over the past few days, as tons of rubble shaken loose from the interior walls of the crater have fallen into the void and plugged up the bottom of the vent. Author: Terray Sylvester, Anchorage Daily News, "Three people trapped by lava airlifted to safety near Hawaii volcano," 4 June 2018 With a colossal bang and a burst of earth, smoke and dust, tunnel #2 exploded outwards in a cloud of rubble. Tim Schwarz And Will Ripley, CNN, "The day we saw decades of North Korea's nuclear work go up in smoke," 25 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The giant four-engine Handley Page bombers, destined to reduce German industry to rubble, had scarcely been rolled onto the tarmac when the Armistice was declared. Paul Kennedy, WSJ, "The RAF at 100: Masters of the Skies," 29 June 2018 The wine country fires, along with other blazes in Northern California, killed 44 people and reduced entire residential neighborhoods in Santa Rosa to rubble. Dale Kasler, sacbee, "Northern California utility says it will turn the lights off when fire risk spikes," 22 Mar. 2018 Some people had been wounded in the recent airstrikes by Syria and its Russian allies that have reduced much of the area to rubble. Nada Homsi And Nick Cumming-bruce, New York Times, "‘We Were Dying in There’: Thousands of Syrians Flee Rebel Enclave," 15 Mar. 2018 Russian military officials and diplomats also have scolded the U.S.-led coalition for reducing the one-time IS capital, Raqqa, to rubble and causing severe suffering for its residents. Washington Post, "US general: Russia is both ‘arsonist and fireman’ in Syria," 27 Feb. 2018 Since igniting Sunday in spots across eight counties, the blazes have reduced entire neighborhoods to ash and rubble. Kim Chatelain,, "Girl, 3, drowns in ice cream parlor grease trap: report," 15 Oct. 2017 Since igniting Sunday in spots across eight counties, the blazes have reduced entire neighborhoods to ash and rubble. Kim Chatelain,, "Girl, 3, drowns in ice cream parlor grease trap: report," 15 Oct. 2017 Since igniting Sunday in spots across eight counties, the blazes have reduced entire neighborhoods to ash and rubble. Kim Chatelain,, "Girl, 3, drowns in ice cream parlor grease trap: report," 15 Oct. 2017 Mexico is still reeling from Thursday's earthquake, which killed at least 32 people and reduced hundreds of buildings to rubble. Amanda Erickson, Washington Post, "The city hardest hit by Mexico’s earthquake is a sexually liberated matriarchy," 8 Sep. 2017

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

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First Known Use of rubble


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1944, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rubble


Middle English robyl

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Statistics for rubble

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

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The first known use of rubble was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for rubble



English Language Learners Definition of rubble

: broken pieces of stone, brick, etc., from walls or buildings that have fallen


rub·ble | \ ˈrə-bəl \

Kids Definition of rubble

: rough broken pieces of stone or brick from buildings

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Comments on rubble

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a magnificent or impressive array

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