rum·​ble | \ ˈrəm-bəl \
rumbled; rumbling\ ˈrəm-​b(ə-​)liŋ \

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 \ noun

Synonyms for rumble

Synonyms: Verb

growl, grumble, lumber, roll

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Examples of rumble in a Sentence


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.


I was awakened by the rumble of a train passing by.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

An audio recording of news reports announcing Meek’s November arrest began to rumble from every speaker in the arena, as the DJ dropped Maybach Music Group’s signature tagline. Nerisha Penrose, Billboard, "Lil Wayne Celebrates 'Tha Carter III,' Swizz Beatz Challenges Timbaland, Meek Mill Pops a Wheelie & More Summer Jam 2018 Highlights," 11 June 2018 The tour is huge rock n’roll party on a vintage tram that rumbles through Rome. Maresa Manara, Condé Nast Traveler, "15 Best Tours in Rome," 4 Mar. 2018 The protesting kids weren't disturbing the peace: 5,000 noisy concertgoers were walking by, el trains were rumbling overhead. Leor Galil, Chicago Reader, "Archive Dive / Music What caused the melee outside a Public Enemy and Sonic Youth show at the Aragon in 1990?," 23 Feb. 2018 Hanyu was training at the Sendai rink and, terrified, ran outside in his skates when the ice began to rumble. JerÉ Longman, New York Times, "The Greatest Figure Skater Ever Is Michael Jackson on Ice, Surrounded by Winnie the Poohs," 4 Jan. 2018 Five minutes after beer became legal at midnight, a big truck, gay with festoons, rumbled to the service entrance of the White house, bearing two cases—a brewer’s gift to the president., "April 7 1933: New Beer's Day," 7 Apr. 2018 In recent months, there has also been rumbling about war. Wil S. Hylton, New York Times, "Can Venezuela Be Saved?," 1 Mar. 2018 For a fleeting moment, sipping rose as the polo ponies rumbled by, we were transported to another time and place, taking in the sport of kings. Anthony Flint,, "For an otherworldly splurge, beach polo at the Ocean House," 16 May 2018 The whole exchange is painful, from the bemused looks of those on-stage, to the audience rumbling as this whole sordid affair plays out. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "Let this insufferable Q&A at a Westworld panel be a lesson to us all," 20 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Many of these less traditional modes of communication also resemble the turn-taking common in human conversation, with elephants waiting their turn before responding to rumbles. Joshua Rapp Learn, Smithsonian, "Some Animals Take Turns While Talking, Just Like Humans. Why?," 20 June 2018 When Hamm finally talks—in this case, about the John Burroughs School, in St. Louis, and his recent significant contributions to it—the slow rumble of his response befits a chief executive. Kevin Conley, Town & Country, "Secret Sharer," 1 May 2014 The chain of events that sent the biggest rumble through the industry, though, was the spate of beauty influencers called out for past racist actions. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "The biggest beauty trend in 2018? Makeup brands behaving badly," 18 Dec. 2018 As the rumble of gas engines fades, lightsaber-like whooshes of electric cars and bike bells enter into ear shot. Diana Budds, Curbed, "The future of urban mobility will be shaped by these six issues," 18 Dec. 2018 The first rumble of discontent surfaced before the first pitch had been thrown, when Odubel Herrera expressed his displeasure at being left out of the Opening Day lineup. David Murphy,, "Do the Phillies really have enough at-bats to go around Gabe Kapler's lineup? | David Murphy," 6 Apr. 2018 But police, using a mix of barricades, vehicles and forces on the ground, mostly kept the main group of marchers way from their opposition, avoiding the kind of head-on rumble that erupted during a June 30 Patriot Prayer march in the city. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "Heavy police presence as Patriot Prayer group rallies in Portland, Oregon," 5 Aug. 2018 In groups of 20, members of the public were led through a gray metal door in a City Hall garage and into the tunnel, which lit up with the flashes of cellphone cameras and echoed with the rumble of the occasional passing Green Line train. Michael Levenson,, "Photos of the abandoned subway tunnel beneath City Hall," 21 May 2018 Haitham Afisi's beard has turned white and his voice has become a deep rumble. Umar Farooq,, "Syrian forces battling Assad seek unity through the National Army," 14 May 2018

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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Statistics for rumble

Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rumble

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

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More Definitions for rumble



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

: to fight especially in the street



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

: a low, heavy sound or series of sounds

: a fight in the street especially between gangs


rum·​ble | \ ˈrəm-bəl \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on rumble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rumble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rumble

Spanish Central: Translation of rumble

Nglish: Translation of rumble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rumble for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about rumble

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