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

Other Words from rumble


rumbler \ ˈrəm-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce rumble (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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In Moscow, tanks will rumble proudly through Red Square, saluted by veterans and applauded by admiring crowds. Washington Post, 7 May 2022 The main user constituency is the hundreds of trucks hauling materials to the oil fields that rumble up and down the pavement-and-gravel everyday, making the highway a vital economic link for Alaska. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Apr. 2022 The Raptors came ready to rumble after coach Nick Nurse accused the officials of letting the Sixers get away with hard fouls in Game 1. oregonlive, 18 Apr. 2022 In the modern age, technological threats rumble overhead—helicopters, drones, planes that fly ominously low. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 11 Apr. 2022 When your belly starts to rumble, grab a bite at The Anvil Restaurant (the jumbo lump crab cakes and hot crab dip are both sensational) or The Rabbit Hole for American classics and terrace hangout sessions. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Travel + Leisure, 27 Mar. 2022 The Bulls entered the game ready to rumble, still fuming over the flagrant-2 foul by Grayson Allen in January that fractured Alex Caruso’s right wrist. Julia Poe,, 5 Mar. 2022 Actor Will Lyman voiced the character of Boygen, producing a rich, bass sound that seemed to rumble up from the floor. Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 26 Mar. 2022 The question is if the Wildcats are willing to rumble there. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, 25 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Cindy Wilson bops out of the bathroom, followed by the rumble of an extremely loud toilet flush. Karen Schoemer, SPIN, 1 May 2022 Shower chances are on the rise again during the predawn hours, with a rumble of thunder possible as well, as lows settle back to the low to mid-50s. Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2022 In the distance, the very untuned rumble of weekend motorcyclists pierces the bliss. Los Angeles Times, 18 Feb. 2022 In Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, amid the deadly rumble of heavy Russian artillery, there is much that feels familiar. New York Times, 29 Mar. 2022 An occasional rumble of an airplane flying over the back fields of the Chicago Cubs complex broke through the crack of bats and hum of instruction during minor-league minicamp. Meghan Montemurro,, 27 Feb. 2022 For Legge, any type of nature immersion most importantly depends on sound—getting away from the rumble of cars, the buzzing of helicopters, and the list goes on. Kristin Scharkey, Sunset Magazine, 11 Feb. 2022 When the air cools shortly after the lightning flash, the rapid expansion and contraction creates a sonic discharge, the rumble of thunder. Washington Post, 8 Jan. 2022 In the sky an airplane is on its side, turning east with its belly up, its engines whining, a rumble in its wake that is felt in the gut, an additional tremble in the limbs. Keith Ridgway, The Atlantic, 18 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rumble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for rumble


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

More from Merriam-Webster on rumble

Nglish: Translation of rumble for Spanish Speakers

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


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