rustle

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

rustle

noun

Definition of rustle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a quick succession or confusion of small sounds

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Other Words from rustle

Verb

rustler \ ˈrə-​s(ə-​)lər How to pronounce rustler (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for rustle

Synonyms: Verb

browse, forage, graze, pasture

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Teachers talk about being warned against wearing shoes that clack and clothes that rustle. Ann Doss Helms, charlotteobserver, "Cover the ABCs. Silence the kids. Test time in NC can be intense, teachers say.," 31 May 2018 Eventually, rustling ball gowns and trim tuxedos found their way to the dinner space, dressed in winter whites with branch-laden clusters for table arrangements—guests might have felt as though they had just stepped into a snow globe. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "The New York Botanical Garden Hosts Its 20th Annual Winter Wonderland Ball," 17 Dec. 2018 The only sound was the wind rustling the leaves of the aspens nearby. Cheryl Strayed, Vogue, "Is Glamping Camping? Wild’s Cheryl Strayed Tackles the Question—in Style," 17 July 2018 According to Chrissy’s Instagram, the couple’s glamorous night to remember ended in style, with chicken tacos in bed and a batch of 1 a.m. pancakes on the sofa, rustled up by the EGOT winner himself. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Chrissy Teigen Celebrates John Legend's EGOT Win With Some Red Carpet PDA," 10 Sep. 2018 Her music is chirpy and kinetic, but weird chords and nervous bits rustling in the orchestra suggest that Josephine fears that his plan to enlist is dangerous. New York Times, "A Soldier’s Racially Charged Suicide Becomes a Powerful Opera," 13 June 2018 Listen to the birds singing and the breeze rustling in the leaves of the trees. Qing Li, Time, "‘Forest Bathing’ Is Great for Your Health. Here’s How to Do It," 1 May 2018 Shawn Butzin specializes in rustling country and twangy Americana, while Anthony Retka is a mood-setting, sigh-inducing folk singer. Jeff Milo, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit music: Magic Bag hosts Native Howl, Gasoline Gypsies; War & Treaty at Otus Supply," 31 May 2018 On a recent visit that fell on the first day of summer, the sun glistened like diamonds off Hingham Bay as leaves rustled in the cool breeze. BostonGlobe.com, "At World’s End in Hingham, wooded trails mingle with harbor view," 23 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This UNESCO Heritage Site falls into a peaceful quiet during the winter, broken only by the rustle of wind and the purrs of friendly neighborhood cats. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "For Authentic Ibiza, Visit in the Winter," 15 Feb. 2019 Unfortunately, morning on the river starts before sunrise, when the boatmen fire up the outboards and the hornbills start squawking and the rustle of leaves hints at the primates feeding in the canopy. Paul Brady, Condé Nast Traveler, "Want Serious Bragging Rights? Do a Road Trip Across Borneo," 16 Nov. 2018 Save for the distant rumble of elephants and gentle rustle of leaves in the breeze. Mary Holland, Condé Nast Traveler, "Skybeds Let You Sleep Under the Stars on an African Safari," 24 Apr. 2018 The boreal owl's roundish face is disk-shaped, like a radar antenna bouncing the slightest rustle of twigs to the owl's ears. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "During long summer days in Alaska, Boreal owls perform by daylight," 30 June 2018 The instructions cut through the rustle of rolling bodies, the coach, slope shouldered, ears puffy with cauliflower topography, shouting his pleasure. William D'urso, latimes.com, "Whether amateurs or the sport's best, MMA fighters flock to an Albuquerque gym known for producing champions," 21 May 2018 When Peck walked in, there was a rustle of excitement. Sasha Weiss, New York Times, "Justin Peck Is Making Ballet That Speaks to Our Everyday Lives," 10 May 2018 The boardwalk is a highlight of the visit, with birdsong near and far, the knocking of woodpeckers on nearby trees and the rustle of small woodland creatures amid the flora. Richard Tribou, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Explore Florida's Hendry County: Seminole history alive and well," 6 May 2018 Once there, Mulvihill and his neighbor heard a rustle in the bushes, saw the barrel of a gun and then the flash of gunfire. Christine Pelisek, PEOPLE.com, "Gun Instructor Who Tried to Kill Lover’s Husband: I Regret Cheating on My Wife More Than Shooting," 22 Mar. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of rustle

Verb

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

Noun

1624, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rustle

Verb

Middle English rustelen

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Statistics for rustle

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rustle

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

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More Definitions for rustle

rustle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of rustle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make a soft, light sound because parts of something are touching or rubbing against each other
: to cause (something) to make a soft, light sound
: to steal (animals) from a farm or ranch

rustle

noun

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

: a quick series of soft, light sounds caused when things (such as leaves or pieces of paper) rub against each other

rustle

verb
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

rustle

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on rustle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rustle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rustle

Spanish Central: Translation of rustle

Nglish: Translation of rustle for Spanish Speakers

Comments on rustle

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