rub·​ble | \ ˈrə-bəl How to pronounce rubble (audio) \

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 How to pronounce rubble (audio) \

Definition of rubble (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to reduce to rubble

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Examples of rubble in a Sentence

Noun 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 But photos of the rubble suggest to engineers that the welds were done poorly, a serious construction defect. New York Times, 13 June 2021 Video on social media showed grieving families amid the rubble of damaged buildings. Washington Post, 11 May 2021 And the nation’s capital is one of the primary locations in which MacGillis sets his scenes of one percenter decadence and self-dealing amid the rubble. Sarah Leonard, The New Republic, 2 Apr. 2021 Mavericks 113, Celtics 108 wound up being far closer than necessary as Boston rallied from 23 down in the third quarter and from 90-73 entering the fourth amid the rubble of six Dallas final-period turnovers, turning jeers to cheers in the process. Dallas News, 1 Apr. 2021 While an ominous shot of the rubble in New Vegas hints that nothing is over, Stu and Frannie plan a trip out of Boulder. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, 11 Feb. 2021 Digging out from the rubble requires patience, wise decision-making, top-flight scouting -- and luck. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 8 June 2021 Smoke still rose from the rubble at around 8 p.m., with crews continuing to spray it down. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, 21 May 2021 Barely recovering from the last major conflict in 2014, and under constant economic restrictions from both Israel and Egypt due to its Hamas priorities, the densely populated strip must now again dig out from the rubble. Daniel Markind, Forbes, 19 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The strikes killed more than 40 Palestinians and reduced high-rise buildings to rubble, marking the deadliest night of Israel’s military campaign. Washington Post, 11 June 2021 Thousands of people were displaced and hundreds of buildings were reduced to rubble. Star Tribune, 1 June 2021 The Gaza City clashes claimed the lives of nearly 250 people, mostly Palestinian, and reduced parts of the Gaza strip to rubble. Melissa Jun Rowley, Forbes, 8 June 2021 Israeli assaults reduced entire commercial towers to rubble and chopped up major commercial thoroughfares. Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2021 Coming on the heels of deadly fighting between Israelis and Palestinians that has left hundreds dead and parts of the impoverished Gaza Strip reduced to rubble, Diet Prada questioned the timing of the product's marketing. NBC News, 4 June 2021 Now, instead of being reduced to rubble, these statues will join the new retirement home, which is currently under review by the local community boards. Caroline Spivack, Curbed, 27 May 2021 There, an entire apartment building, where Abu al-Ouf and his family lived, collapsed early on May 16, reduced to rubble after Israel blanketed the city with airstrikes. Washington Post, 28 May 2021 The fighting had escalated for nearly two weeks this month, leaving hundreds dead, the majority Palestinians, and parts of the impoverished Gaza Strip reduced to rubble. NBC News, 25 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for rubble

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for rubble

Last Updated

22 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rubble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce rubble (audio) \

Kids Definition of rubble

: rough broken pieces of stone or brick from buildings

More from Merriam-Webster on rubble

Nglish: Translation of rubble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rubble for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about rubble


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