\ ˈrüb How to pronounce rube (audio) \

Definition of rube

1 : an awkward unsophisticated person : rustic
2 : a naive or inexperienced person

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of rube in a Sentence

They treated us as if we were a bunch of rubes. rural voters were tired of being treated as rubes by state officials, who showed interest in them only at election time
Recent Examples on the Web Biden's career has been one long exercise in overlooking obvious facts and pushing horrible, pointless policy to seem Serious and Responsible to the centrist rubes of the Beltway press. Ryan Cooper, TheWeek, "Joe Biden's history of austerity," 13 Jan. 2020 Think hunter-gatherers, Crusaders, shrieking Dothraki hordes, or, more reasonably, Dust Bowl circus carnies, traveling town to town, entertaining (and swindling) the rubes. Charlton Pettus, New York Times, "41 Days, 26 Shows, 10 Countries: A Rock Tour Diary," 16 Oct. 2019 Not being rubes, influencer economy participants know that signing a contract isn't enough to certify continuous truthfulness. Wired, "Fighting Instagram's $1.3 Billion Problem—Fake Followers," 10 Sep. 2019 Krystal's ticket to prosperity, potentially, comes in the form of Founders American Merchandise, or FAM, which amounts to a cultish get-rich-quick scheme that requires a steady supply of fresh rubes to fleece. Brian Lowry, CNN, "Kirsten Dunst shines in quirky 'On Becoming a God in Central Florida'," 23 Aug. 2019 How did these shows about rural rubes become such a beloved part of imagined American life in the 1960s and beyond? Sara K. Eskridge, Houston Chronicle, "Why Americans love Mayberry," 19 Aug. 2019 The men are rubes, boobs, and boors, except for the one or two good guys who aren’t, and Isabelle will manage to mess those relationships up. Ty Burr,, "‘Let the Sunshine In’ traces a search for romantic salvation," 9 May 2018 Political analysts in the media have access to the same voter data studied by Ms. Currid-Halkett, so why does the simplistic stereotype of left-behind rural rubes battling affluent urban sophisticates prevail? WSJ, "‘Divided America’ Myth Strokes Elite Egos," 1 Jan. 2019 But a lot of the humor is cruel and cynical, for the sake of being cruel and cynical, and even more of it points and laughs at the rubes, provoking them simply to provoke them. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Sacha Baron Cohen’s new show arrives with a swirl of outrage-driven hype. Don’t believe it.," 15 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of rube

1891, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rube

Rube, nickname for Reuben

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rube

Statistics for rube

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rube.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rube


How to pronounce rube (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rube

US, informal : an uneducated person who is usually from the country

More from Merriam-Webster on rube

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rube

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rube

Comments on rube

What made you want to look up rube? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!