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

When a lawnmower began rumbling outside, Archibald apologized and explained that yard work was normally done in the morning, but the crew had arrived late. Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, "Constance Wu’s Hollywood Destiny," 16 Sep. 2019 Hit the red ignition button and the engine fires with a deep growl and then settles into a rumbling purr. San Diego Union-Tribune, "550-hp Jaguar F-Pace SVR: all claws, fangs and growl in a velvet coat," 15 Sep. 2019 Inside the pits, in Russia’s far-eastern region of Yakutia, trucks with wheels taller than their drivers rumble along narrow dirt roads carved into the mine’s walls, carrying loads of ore. The Economist, "Alrosa is betting on natural diamonds," 12 Sep. 2019 But the Titans countered immediately as Henry, who sat out the preseason with a calf injury, took a short pass, picked up a few blocks, and rumbled down the sideline for the long score. Tom Withers,, "Brown out: Tennessee routs hype-laden Baker Mayfield, Cleveland," 8 Sep. 2019 Having some cheese and crackers or a bowl of cereal before bed certainly beats trying to sleep with a rumbling belly. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Is Late-Night Snacking Really So Wrong?," 23 Aug. 2019 Underwood tossed aside a defender before rumbling the rest of the way for a 31-yard score. J.c. Carnahan,, "Seminole holds off Lake Mary for thrilling Super 16 football win," 31 Aug. 2019 Harvey, at fullback, took the handoff and rumbled up the middle for the score. Nathan Cambridge, Glendale News-Press, "Flintridge Prep football steamrolls in opening-season rout," 31 Aug. 2019 But with two minutes remaining in the quarter, Eaglecrest’s defense stepped up again as defensive lineman Majd Barakat stripped the ball from Rubley and rumbled 25 yards for a touchdown and 20-13 lead. Marco Cummings, The Denver Post, "Eaglecrest defense rises to occasion in victory over Highlands Ranch," 30 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Others prowl the skies, rumble, spew water or just look and act mean. David Wilson, Smithsonian, "These High-Tech Scarecrows Will Keep Pesky Creatures Away," 3 Sep. 2019 The site’s operators began preparing for a rumble with the Feds. Christine Biederman, WIRED, "Inside’s Vicious Battle With the Feds," 18 June 2019 It’s hard to hear the customer over the soft diesel rumble of one of the nearby VW Vanagons. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "The Mechanics for Iconic Campers," 8 June 2019 They frequent dense urban areas where the quiet squeal of a battery is preferable to the rumble of an engine. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Are diesel’s days numbered? A view from a trip to BYD’s electric bus factory," 14 Aug. 2018 The overlap created new drones, rhythms, rumbles and wails, with the whole ensemble gradually increasing the sound to a nearly unbearable volume and intensity. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘The Force of Things’ Review: Music Made Visible," 7 Aug. 2018 Speakers beneath the floor rumble with thunderous sounds of glaciers calving, like a keening mammoth. Cate Mcquaid,, "An otherworldy Arctic landscape, in a beautiful and troubling exhibit," 9 May 2018 The service closed with a prayer recited in the congregants’ native tongues, Spanish and English colliding into a rumble that gathered in momentum as the prayer neared its end, asking for peace. Los Angeles Times, "At Gilroy Garlic Festival vigils, residents pray for peace," 29 July 2019 The track's underlying anxiety is real, but it's mellowed with meditative contemplation and rolling bass rumbles. Kat Bein, Billboard, "The 10 Best Rezz Songs," 23 July 2019

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

21 Sep 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).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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