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

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

Burris ran for TDs of 5 and 33 yards, and Zach Thomas rumbled 48 yards for another score in the first half for Faith. Jeff Gardenour,, "Faith Christian edges Trinity Prep in spring football," 25 May 2018 The earth didn't rumble when a new Italian restaurant opened in Logan Square in mid-April. Mike Sula, Chicago Reader, "Saba is stealthy Italian that might surprise traditionalists," 31 May 2018 The Ring of Fire contains 452 volcanoes and about 90 percent of the world’s major earthquakes, and the Earth is constantly rumbling. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Five Things to Know About Guatemala’s Deadly Volcanic Eruption," 4 June 2018 In Razer’s example, your keyboard’s rest wrist could vibrate to simulate movement on your left, while your mouse could rumble to simulate right-side movement and the kickback of a gun. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "6 important CES 2019 reveals and trends that PC enthusiasts need to know about," 11 Jan. 2019 As the players emerged onto the pitch, barely visible through the thick smoke of flares let off by the Marseille fans, the ground rumbled with expectation. Matias Grez, CNN, "Antoine Griezmann masterclass guides Atletico Madrid to Europa League title," 16 May 2018 And when the rumbling reaches its peak, we are set upon by a horde of drunken children, unruly and shrieking, who have come out of seemingly nowhere. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Judgement and Epiphany on Pittsburgh’s Number 79 Bus," 11 May 2018 Exactly the same questions were posed when the first motor cars rumbled onto the roads. The Economist, "Self-driving cars offer huge benefits—but have a dark side," 1 Mar. 2018 And the Titans capitalized when Henry rumbled nearly untouched 35 yards for a touchdown a few minutes later. USA TODAY, "Titans rally from 21-3 hole, beat Chiefs 22-21 in playoffs," 6 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Confidence: Medium-High Tonight: Skies become mostly cloudy and showers are likely toward morning. Don’t be shocked if there’s a rumble of thunder or two. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: 60s to start the week, 40s midweek, 50s by the weekend," 22 Jan. 2018 The occasional rumble of thunder and heavy downpours are possible, too. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "Washington’s weekend forecast has taken a soggy turn," 3 May 2018 Listening to the rumble The Vanandas opened Tuckaleechee Caverns in 1953, about the time an area performer named Dolly Parton was learning her craft. John Bordsen, USA TODAY, "North Korean nukes tracked from Tennessee tourist caverns," 13 Apr. 2018 Sometimes the train rumbles by, or cotton drifts in the wind. Garance Burke And Martha Mendoza, The Seattle Times, "US waived FBI checks on staff at growing teen migrant camp," 28 Nov. 2018 Some brief rain and some rumbles are possible, though, especially over western parts of the area. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, "PM Update: Scattered showers or storms possible through evening, with a better chance of rain Friday," 5 July 2018 Designed by Lofelt, the Nari Ultimate’s haptic effects are more nuanced than the crude on/off rumble of old. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Razer HyperSense's vision for haptic-filled PC gaming shakes up the future of peripherals," 10 Jan. 2019 Mids are crisp and clear, the highs can grab your attention, and while the bass is on the tamer side, there’s still a satisfying low rumble with enough gravitas to bring life to a Metro Boomin production. Stefan Etienne, The Verge, "Razer Hammerhead USB-C ANC review: easy isolation," 20 Dec. 2018 Somewhere outside, subway brakes shriek, followed by the rumble of a faraway jet engine. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "This James Turrell Installation Is the Best Meditation Chapel in New York," 5 Aug. 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

18 May 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
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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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

Comments on rumble

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


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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