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[roo-mer] /ˈru mər/
a story or statement in general circulation without confirmation or certainty as to facts:
a rumor of war.
gossip; hearsay:
Don't listen to rumor.
Archaic. a continuous, confused noise; clamor; din.
verb (used with object)
to circulate, report, or assert by a rumor:
It is rumored that the king is dead.
Also, especially British, rumour.
Origin of rumor
1325-75; Middle English rumour < Middle French < Latin rūmor; akin to Sanskrit rāuti, rāvati (he) cries
Related forms
unrumored, adjective
1. report. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for rumour
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The rumour of our journey had spread, but too late for the Press to get hold of the news.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • The rumour spread that he had yielded to the entreaties of his wife Eugenie.

  • The rumour of his appearance is wrapped in the larger rumour of war.

    A Dish Of Orts George MacDonald
  • And then, from the Listening-in-Service, came the rumour of the strike.

    City of Endless Night Milo Hastings
  • rumour spreads quick, but the good mare's stride is quicker still.'

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • I give you the rumour as it has reached me; but I cannot, as yet, vouch for its accuracy.

  • At this moment a rumour was heard at the extremity of the long hall.

    Gomez Arias Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso
  • They were filled with people, for the rumour of that day's proceedings had made a great noise.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • One could see a rumour begin and swell and change and increase.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine
British Dictionary definitions for rumour


  1. information, often a mixture of truth and untruth, passed around verbally
  2. (in combination): a rumour-monger
gossip or hearsay
(archaic) din or clamour
(obsolete) fame or reputation
(transitive; usually passive) to pass around or circulate in the form of a rumour: it is rumoured that the Queen is coming
(literary) to make or cause to make a murmuring noise
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Latin rūmor common talk; related to Old Norse rymja to roar, Sanskrit rāut he cries
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 rumour

chiefly British English spelling of rumor; see -or. Related: Rumoured; rumouring.



late 14c., from Old French rumor "commotion, widespread noise or report" (Modern French rumeur), from Latin rumorem (nominative rumor) "noise, clamor, common talk, hearsay, popular opinion," related to ravus "hoarse," from PIE *reu- "to bellow." Related: Rumorous. Rumor mill is from 1887. Dutch rumoer, German Rumor are from French.



1590s, "spread a rumor; spread by way of rumor," from rumor (n.). Related: Rumored; rumoring.

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


Related Terms

latrine rumor

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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