Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

rubble

[ruhb-uh l or for 3, 4, roo-buh l]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. broken bits and pieces of anything, as that which is demolished: Bombing reduced the town to rubble.
  2. any solid substance, as ice, in irregularly broken pieces.
  3. rough fragments of broken stone, formed by geological processes, in quarrying, etc., and sometimes used in masonry.
  4. masonry built of rough fragments of broken stone.
Show More

Origin of rubble

1350–1400; Middle English rubel, robil < ?; cf. rubbish
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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

rubble

noun
  1. fragments of broken stones, bricks, etc
  2. any fragmented solid material, esp the debris from ruined buildings
  3. quarrying the weathered surface layer of rock
  4. Also called: rubblework masonry constructed of broken pieces of rock, stone, etc
Show More
Derived Formsrubbly, 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

Word Origin and History for rubble

n.

"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).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper