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[ruhb-uh l or for 3, 4, roo-buh l] /ˈrʌb əl or for 3, 4, ˈru bəl/
broken bits and pieces of anything, as that which is demolished:
Bombing reduced the town to rubble.
any solid substance, as ice, in irregularly broken pieces.
rough fragments of broken stone, formed by geological processes, in quarrying, etc., and sometimes used in masonry.
masonry built of rough fragments of broken stone.
Origin of rubble
1350-1400; Middle English rubel, robil < ?; cf. rubbish Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for rubble
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Into it he dropped the ring, covering it again with all the leafy "rubble and wreck" of the wood.

    The Coryston Family Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Where there had been shops and hotels, there were now heaps of rubble and calcined bricks.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine
  • Why was she stumbling about amongst the rubble and catching her dress in brambles and burrs?

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • Only bleak, black and gray hills of rock and rubble were there, no cars, no life.

    Pleasant Journey Richard F. Thieme
  • He could have been lying in the rubble of that alley for an hour—or a second.

    The K-Factor Harry Harrison (AKA Henry Maxwell Dempsey)
British Dictionary definitions for rubble


fragments of broken stones, bricks, etc
any fragmented solid material, esp the debris from ruined buildings
(quarrying) the weathered surface layer of rock
Also called rubblework. masonry constructed of broken pieces of rock, stone, etc
Derived Forms
rubbly, adjective
Word Origin
C14 robyl; perhaps related to Middle English rubben to rub, or to rubbish
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rubble

"rough, irregular stones broken from larger masses," late 14c., robeyl, from Anglo-French *robel "bits of broken stone," probably related to rubbish [OED], but also possibly from Old French robe (see rob).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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