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[roob] /rub/
noun, Informal.
an unsophisticated person from a rural area; hick.
Origin of rube
1895-1900; generic use of Rube; compare earlier use of Reuben in same sense


[roob] /rub/
a male given name, form of Reuben.


[gohld-burg] /ˈgoʊld bɜrg/
Arthur Joseph, 1908–90, U.S. jurist, statesman, and diplomat: associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court 1962–65; ambassador to the U.N. 1965–68.
Reuben Lucius ("Rube") 1883–1970, U.S. cartoonist, whose work often depicts deviously complex and impractical inventions. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for rube
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I wonder if rube's first wife's mother has come from Moderation?

    The Village Watch-Tower (AKA Kate Douglas Riggs) Kate Douglas Wiggin
  • Albert's private appraisal of "Issy" was that the latter was another funny rube.

    The Portygee Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • But Penrhyn could borrow a rube outfit and escape from a farm.

    Torchy and Vee Sewell Ford
  • He knew how to pin a rube against the Wall and make him say "Yes."

    Ade's Fables George Ade
  • "Daddy gived me to Uncle rube," was her only explanation of her being there.

    Labrador Days Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
  • We were away before daylight, and I never saw Uncle rube again.

    Labrador Days Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
  • It was only the untiring care of rube and his wife, and Seth, that pulled her through.

    The Watchers of the Plains

    Ridgewell Cullum
British Dictionary definitions for rube


(US & Canadian, slang) an unsophisticated countryman
Word Origin
C20: probably from the name Reuben
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 rube

1896, reub, from shortened form of masc. proper name Reuben (q.v.), which is attested from 1804 as a conventional type of name for a country man.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for rube



Green; newbie: a rube police force


  1. A rustic; farmer; hayseed
  2. An unsophisticated person, esp a newcomer; greenhorn
  3. A member of the audienceorpublic;citizen:MrToddknowshowtopanic the rubes (Circus)

Related Terms

hey rube

[short for Reuben]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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