rum·​ble | \ ˈrəm-bəl How to pronounce rumble (audio) \
rumbled; rumbling\ ˈrəm-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce rumbling (audio) \

Definition of rumble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to make a low heavy rolling sound thunder rumbling in the distance
2 : to travel with a low reverberating sound wagons rumbled into town
3 : to speak in a low rolling tone
4 : to engage in a rumble

transitive verb

1 : to utter or emit in a low rolling voice
2 British : to reveal or discover the true character of



Definition of rumble (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a low heavy continuous reverberating often muffled sound (as of thunder)
b : low frequency noise in phonographic playback caused by the transmission of mechanical vibrations by the amin to the pickup
2 : a seat for servants behind the body of a carriage
3a : widespread expression of dissatisfaction or unrest
b : a street fight especially among gangs

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Other Words from rumble


rumbler \ ˈrəm-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce rumbler (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for rumble

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of rumble in a Sentence

Verb Thunder rumbled in the distance. The train rumbles through town twice a day. We watched as the trucks rumbled past. The gangs rumbled in the alley. Noun I was awakened by the rumble of a train passing by.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Some scientists are trying to eavesdrop on elephants by recording their rumbling communications, which are at a frequency too low for the human ear to pick up but can travel through the ground for miles. Justin Mott, Smithsonian Magazine, "Researchers Are Learning How Asian Elephants Think—In Order to Save Them," 19 Mar. 2020 Standing directly underneath, their susurrations combine the sounds of flags snapping in a strong breeze and the whirr of a rumbling ice cream maker on this cold day. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, "Like a 'second wife': Wind energy gives American farmers a new crop to sell in tough times," 16 Feb. 2020 One of the underlying themes of Brexit has been the rumbling standoff between the two largest constituent parts of the three-centuries-old United Kingdom. Alastair Reed / Bloomberg, Time, "Scotland Keeps E.U. Flag Flying as U.K. Prepares to Brexit Friday," 31 Jan. 2020 With his rumbling belly laughs and his signature pencil tattoo that stretches down the side of his face, Kerwin Frost has become a distinctive fixture among the fashion set. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Kerwin Frost Brings Outrageous Style to Men’s Fashion Week in Paris," 21 Jan. 2020 Overnight, earthquakes associated with the rumbling volcano rocked many areas. Jason Gutierrez,, "Desperate residents ignore dangers of Philippine volcano and return home," 13 Jan. 2020 Chubb tried to make up for it by rumbling through the Patriots’ No. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland, "Browns can’t overcome 3 straight first-quarter turnovers in 27-13 loss to the Patriots, fall to 2-5," 27 Oct. 2019 The storm rumbled east through Seven Oaks and caused severe damage to homes and other structures, said Carrie Miller, a spokeswoman for Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy. USA TODAY, "Storms rip through Mississippi after tornadoes leave at least 5 dead in Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana," 24 Apr. 2020 The storm rumbled east through Seven Oaks and beyond, severely damaging homes and other structures, according to Carrie Miller, a spokeswoman for Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy. CBS News, "Deadly tornadoes and storms sweep through deep South," 23 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This activity should be brief and short lived, but will produce a few rumbles of thunder and light rain through early afternoon. Dallas News, "Very warm and breezy weekend," 2 May 2020 Gone are the deep rumbles, distinctive growls and high pitch whines of an internal combustion engine that have always been a reliable soundtrack and alert system. Morgan Korn, ABC News, "Famed composer Hans Zimmer's new score: Giving sound to an electric car," 6 Mar. 2020 The rumble and crash of excavators are a near-constant presence on the soundtrack of In Vanda’s Room. Will Noah, The New York Review of Books, "Pedro Costa, Filming the Saga of Lisbon’s Cabo Verdeans," 3 Mar. 2020 Tonight: Cloudy with a chance of isolated showers and rumbles of thunder. Dallas News, "Cool and wet weekend," 4 Apr. 2020 The soundtrack of New York City — meaning the rumble of its buses, ferries and trains — will make even more noise today to honor their workers who transport first responders to and from work amid the coronavirus. Cailey Rizzo, Travel + Leisure, "NYC Transportation Workers Will Sound Their Horns in Unity Today As They Keep the City Moving," 16 Apr. 2020 Even a rumble of thunder or two can't be ruled out for Philadelphia and New York City overnight Wednesday. NBC News, "Snow, howling winds and strong thunderstorms create midweek travel mayhem," 26 Feb. 2020 The rumble that closes the first act is one such exquisite moment. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, "A Grim Take on “West Side Story”," 21 Feb. 2020 Sit back with an Italian-style caffè and watch as the train cuts through picturesque villages and rumbles alongside dizzying cliffs and sparkling blue waters. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, "13 Virtual Train Rides From Around the World That You Can Experience Right Now," 14 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rumble.' 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 rumble


15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for rumble


Middle English; akin to Middle High German rummeln to rumble

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Time Traveler for rumble

Time Traveler

The first known use of rumble was in the 15th century

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Statistics for rumble

Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rumble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for rumble


How to pronounce rumble (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rumble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make a low, heavy, continuous sound or series of sounds
: to move along with a low, heavy, continuous sound
US, informal + old-fashioned : to fight especially in the street



English Language Learners Definition of rumble (Entry 2 of 2)

: a low, heavy sound or series of sounds
US, informal + old-fashioned : a fight in the street especially between gangs


rum·​ble | \ ˈrəm-bəl How to pronounce rumble (audio) \
rumbled; rumbling

Kids Definition of rumble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make or move with a low heavy continuous sound A truck rumbled by.



Kids Definition of rumble (Entry 2 of 2)

: a low heavy rolling sound a rumble of thunder

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