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

Example Sentences

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 For those unfamiliar with the show, Lily Collins is its main attraction, her signature eyebrows suggesting an accent aigu and an accent grave as her wide-eyed character, Emily Cooper, makes her rube’s way around Paris. John Anderson, WSJ, 20 Dec. 2022 Being poor does not make one a rube or insensitive to talent. Philip Martin, Arkansas Online, 6 Nov. 2022 Poker sharks find the rube, and that’s what Belichick appeared to do in trading with inexperienced Panthers leadership during last year’s draft. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Oct. 2022 Once Internet shopping arrived, customers had instant access to product specs and competitive pricing; only a rube buys a Chevy Silverado without Googling the dealer’s cost. Tad Friend, The New Yorker, 1 Aug. 2022 Being a rube, though, Lucien cannot carry off the performance. Kyle Smith, WSJ, 9 June 2022 Red has utter disdain for Jerry, looking at him as a rube who exists only to help maintain Red’s place at the top of the pyramid. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 14 Mar. 2022 Tom, that ineffectual rube from Minnesota who swallowed his own semen at his bachelor party. Scott Tobias, Vulture, 14 Dec. 2021 Thalberg robbed the Marx Brothers of their anarchy and Keaton of his elegance, turning him, as Stevens complains, into a mere stock rube figure. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 24 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


Rube, nickname for Reuben

First Known Use

1891, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of rube was in 1891

Dictionary Entries Near rube

Cite this Entry

“Rube.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Feb. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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