- a disorderly crowd; mob.
- the rabble, the lower classes; the common people: The nobility held the rabble in complete contempt.
- to beset as a rabble does; mob.
Origin of rabble1
- a tool or mechanically operated device used for stirring or mixing a charge in a roasting furnace.
- to stir (a charge) in a roasting furnace.
Origin of rabble2
Examples from the Web for rabble
All the excitement of her rabble rousing had been suitably extinguished, along with our enthusiasm for this show.‘Downton Abbey’ Finale Review: The Depressing Demise of a Once-Great Show
February 24, 2014
Earlier in the book, Murray waxed indignant about the "condescension toward the rabble" he detected in the new upper class.Social Science Minus the Science
February 8, 2012
The culture of the new upper class carries with it an unmistakable whiff of a 'we're better than the rabble' mentality.Charles Murray's Imaginary Elite
February 7, 2012
Could the West rely on the more or less faceless Libyan opposition, a rabble in arms, to be so pliable?Obama's Mistake in Libya
March 8, 2011
I was trapped backstage with a rabble of photographers behind a security fence as the models filed out.The World's Savviest Supermodel
May 31, 2010
She lifted one hand in a gesture of command, and called out to the rabble.Priestess of the Flame
Sewell Peaslee Wright
Behind these stood a rabble of some thirty others at six sous apiece.
It is the day of the Dantons, and the Marats, the day of the rabble.
A person of breeding choosing the cause of the rout and rabble!The Strollers
Frederic S. Isham
And are these people—this rabble that you talk of—received as my papa's guests?That Boy Of Norcott's
Charles James Lever
- a disorderly crowd; mob
- the rabble derogatory the common people
- Also called: rabbler an iron tool or mechanical device for stirring, mixing, or skimming a molten charge in a roasting furnace
- (tr) to stir, mix, or skim (the molten charge) in a roasting furnace
Word Origin and History for rabble
c.1300, "pack of animals," possibly related to Middle English rablen "to gabble, speak in a rapid, confused manner," probably imitative of hurry, noise, and confusion (cf. Middle Dutch rabbelen, Low German rabbeln "to chatter"). Meaning "tumultuous crowd of vulgar, noisy people" is from late 14c.; applied contemptuously to the common or low part of any populace from 1550s.
iron bar for stirring molten metal, 1864, from French râble, from Old French roable, from Latin rutabulum "rake, fire shovel," from ruere to rake up (perhaps cognate with Lithuanian raju "to pluck out," German roden "to root out").