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rub·​ble ˈrə-bəl How to pronounce rubble (audio)
: broken fragments (as of rock) resulting from the decay or destruction of a building
fortifications knocked into rubbleC. S. Forester
: a miscellaneous confused mass or group of usually broken or worthless things
: waterworn or rough broken stones or bricks used in coarse masonry or in filling courses of walls
: rough stone as it comes from the quarry


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rubbled; rubbling ˈrə-b(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce rubble (audio)

transitive verb

: to reduce to rubble

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
War-weary Palestinians in northern Gaza, the focus of Israel's ground offensive, returned to the streets, crunching over rubble between shattered buildings and at times digging through it with bare hands. CBS News, 25 Nov. 2023 Many families in the city of Khan Younis were using the first peaceful morning in seven weeks as an opportunity to pick through the rubble of their lives. Anna Schecter, NBC News, 24 Nov. 2023 An Associated Press reporter saw the bodies of two children pulled from the rubble. Josef Federman,, 23 Nov. 2023 Israel’s blitz has reduced swaths of the north to rubble, while some two-thirds of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million have been displaced to the south. David Morgan and Jasper Ward, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 Nov. 2023 And even our staff have suffered with their families being buried under rubble. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 17 Nov. 2023 Crews from throughout Mexico are working to remove rubble from streets and beaches and to restore electricity, running water, telephone and Internet service to a city and environs that was home to about 1 million when Otis struck shortly after midnight on Oct. 25. Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times, 13 Nov. 2023 Another scene features a man carrying a woman out of a building turned to rubble. Esther Kang, Peoplemag, 9 Nov. 2023 Blinken has repeatedly publicly declared his pain at seeing imagery of Palestinian children being pulled from rubble — which the father of two young children also mentions in his closed-door meetings with fellow top diplomats, officials say. Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post, 11 Nov. 2023
More than 1 million Palestinians have been displaced from the north of the coastal enclave to the south, amid a ferocious Israeli ground invasion and relentless airstrikes that have reduced swaths of the territory to rubble. Neri Zilber, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Nov. 2023 An airstrike Thursday smashed a residential building to rubble in the Bureij refugee camp several miles south of Gaza City. Compiled By Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 3 Nov. 2023 The strike reduced more than a dozen buildings to rubble, killed dozens and wounded hundreds of people, according to local health officials. Richie Duchon, NBC News, 1 Nov. 2023 Israel’s response has been swift and relentless, sending warplanes to pound streets and homes in Gaza to rubble. More than 1,900 people, including over 600 children have been killed by Israel’s bombing campaign, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Helen Regan, CNN, 13 Oct. 2023 What a Texas-sized battle over state history means Gaza’s future U.S.-Israel differences over the postwar plan focus in particular on how a Gaza flattened to rubble but still home to 2.3 million Palestinians would be administered. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, 13 Nov. 2023 As a barrage of Israeli airstrikes reduces buildings in Gaza to rubble, aid workers have issued dire warnings about the humanitarian crisis unfolding for nearly 2.3 million residents with nowhere to flee in the Palestinian enclave. Ellen Francis, Washington Post, 7 Nov. 2023 Desperate Palestinians were using their bare hands Tuesday to retrieve bodies buried in the ruins of a Gaza refugee camp moments after it was hit by an airstrike that reduced more than a dozen buildings to rubble, killed dozens and wounded hundreds of people, according to local health officials. Corky Siemaszko, NBC News, 31 Oct. 2023 Hundreds of thousands of Gaza residents have been displaced and buildings reduced to rubble amid heavy bombardment from Israel. WSJ, 13 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rubble.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English robyl

First Known Use


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


1944, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near rubble

Cite this Entry

“Rubble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: rough broken stones or bricks used in building
: a confused mass of rough or broken things

More from Merriam-Webster on rubble

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