rus·​tle | \ ˈrə-səl How to pronounce rustle (audio) \
rustled; rustling\ ˈrə-​s(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce rustle (audio) \

Definition of rustle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to make or cause a rustle
2a : to act or move with energy or speed
b : to forage food
3 : to steal cattle

transitive verb

1 : to cause to rustle
2a : to obtain by one's own exertions often used with up able to rustle up $5,000 bail— Jack McCallum
b : forage
3 : to steal (livestock) especially from a farm or ranch



Definition of rustle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a quick succession or confusion of small sounds

Synonyms for rustle

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of rustle in a Sentence

Verb The trees rustled in the wind. Her skirt rustled as she walked. He rustled the papers on his desk. Noun He heard a rustle of leaves behind him.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Elon Musk was able to rustle up more than $7 billion from 19 investors to support his $44 billion bid to take Twitter private this year. Jennifer Williams-alvarez, WSJ, 11 May 2022 For those wanting to rustle up food at home, the big grocery chains have dedicated sections on their websites to help. Karla Adam, Washington Post, 31 May 2022 Some, like Sebastian Faena and Gary Sorrenti, were able to rustle up a late-night snack in the form of beef carpaccio and pasta for the adjacent kitchen servicing Cipriani Downtown Miami. Zachary Weiss, Vogue, 7 Dec. 2021 Previous franchise stars who’ve appeared on DWTS are likely to offer their support on social media and rustle up some extra votes. Mary Colurso |, al, 20 Sep. 2021 For example, whenever a tree moves, leaves need to rustle., 26 Aug. 2021 Birds rustle in the branches of a large, wizened hemlock. Zoya Teirstein, Wired, 14 Aug. 2021 The Green Knight, as seen in Lowery's enchanting Arthurian dream, is an imposing tree of a man, with a wispy beard of twigs and a wooden mane whose movements rustle with the sound of bended, creaking branches. Jake Coyle, Star Tribune, 28 July 2021 Government and philanthropic funding is no match for corporate purses, and few institutions can rustle up the data and computing power needed to match work from companies like Google. Tom Simonite, Wired, 8 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Thunder mutters overhead, the wind picks up, and human cries are half lost in the rustle of leaves. The New Yorker, 3 June 2022 But with the top raised, there’s hardly a rustle of wind noise, so good is the sealing. Howard Walker, Robb Report, 8 June 2022 Some pictures will stir your soul and cause a rustle of recognition. Michael Johnston, The New Yorker, 31 Mar. 2022 All come with a backdrop of stunning towering mountains, the rustle of the wind through the trees and the allure of an endless expanse of clear blue water merging with the sky. Lisa Morrow, CNN, 25 Mar. 2022 The subject matter caused a rustle, but Chandler, who died in 1997, stood by Davidson. New York Times, 28 Jan. 2022 The muffled, vaguely sonographic rustle of a pocket, or a purse. Meghan O'gieblyn, Wired, 24 Jan. 2022 The rustle of the bag seemed to echo across the course and through the canyons. San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Jan. 2022 Whether a light hum or a loud rustle, almost everyone knows someone who snores—even if that person may be you. Sarah Fielding,, 7 Oct. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rustle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of rustle


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1624, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rustle


Middle English rustelen

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Time Traveler for rustle

Time Traveler

The first known use of rustle was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near rustle

rust joint



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Statistics for rustle

Last Updated

26 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rustle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for rustle


rus·​tle | \ ˈrə-səl How to pronounce rustle (audio) \
rustled; rustling

Kids Definition of rustle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make or cause to make a quick series of small sounds Leaves rustled in the wind.
2 : to steal (as cattle) from the range

Other Words from rustle

rustler \ ˈrə-​slər \ noun



Kids Definition of rustle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a quick series of small sounds From backstage you could hear the rustle of paper programs …— Richard Peck, A Year Down Yonder

More from Merriam-Webster on rustle

Nglish: Translation of rustle for Spanish Speakers


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