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

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 Play your cards right and a meal can be made with minimal effort; just don’t be the rube who stalks the kitchen door. Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Mar. 2024 For a yutz like me, a business rube, what’s some advice about how to win a negotiation? David Marchese David Marchese Photograph By Mamadi Doumbouya, New York Times, 10 Nov. 2023 There’s a certain kind of theater parody made by theater people, where the characters are either provincial rubes or name-dropping, Olivier-quoting grandees of their local scene, and theater is made out to be a kind of small-town cult for the flamboyantly uncool. Vulture Staff, Vulture, 20 Oct. 2023 Baron Cohen’s most famous creation, Borat, may be the most intricate of all Jewish masquerades: an English Jew disguised as a Central Asian rube, who speaks Hebrew disguised as Kazakh, while staging outrageous antisemitic stunts that expose, and mock, society’s latent Jew hatred. Jody Rosen, The New Yorker, 7 Oct. 2023 This is part of the GOP's plot to keep the rubes enflamed while the party continues to cut taxes for the billionaires and sets its sights on Social Security and Medicare. Randy Dotinga, Washington Post, 24 June 2023 Ominously for Team Fisher, those rubes in Vegas are starting to not buy the bullcorn. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, 6 May 2023 In Shucked, Cahoon’s character is now Peanut, the town philosopher — who comes across as a bit of a rube, but then spouts profound universal truths. Melinda Newman, Billboard, 3 Apr. 2023 Carl Gardner was the rube or the straight man. Chris Willman, Variety, 4 July 2022

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

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 28 May. 2024.

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