[roo-buh n]


the eldest son of Jacob and Leah. Gen. 29, 30.
one of the 12 tribes of Israel, the tribe traditionally descended from him.
a male given name: from a Hebrew word meaning “behold a son.” Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for reuben

hoagie, hero, sub, BLT, Dagwood

Examples from the Web for reuben

Contemporary Examples of reuben

  • The man who would come to be known as Roy Masters was born Reuben Obermeister in 1920s London.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Godfather of Right-Wing Radio

    Caitlin Dickson

    November 23, 2014

  • “She was born into slavery,” Reuben said of her character, Elizabeth Keckley.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Tony Kushner: Obama Likes ‘Lincoln’

    Abigail Pesta

    November 16, 2012

  • Seated between two fellow reporters I ordered a Reuben sandwich and sipped from a tall glass of ice water.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Boys on the Bus

    Ben Crair

    November 3, 2008

Historical Examples of reuben

  • For the divisions of Reuben there were great thoughts of heart.

  • For the divisions of Reuben there were great searchings of heart.

  • There wa'n't nobody else; the world was all Reuben 'n' all Lovey to them.

    The Village Watch-Tower

    (AKA Kate Douglas Riggs) Kate Douglas Wiggin

  • I was in the act of following him into the room, when Reuben plucked at my sleeve to detain me.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • But we must push on, Reuben, if we are to help our companion.'

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

British Dictionary definitions for reuben


noun Old Testament

the eldest son of Jacob and Leah: one of the 12 patriarchs of Israel (Genesis 29:30)
the Israelite tribe descended from him
the territory of this tribe, lying to the northeast of the Dead Sea
Douay spelling: Ruben
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 reuben


masc. proper name, Old Testament eldest son of Jacob and name of the tribe descended from him, from Greek Rouben, from Hebrew Reubhen, probably literally "Behold a son," from reu, imperative of ra'ah "he saw" + ben "a son." As a typical name of a farmer, rustic, or country bumpkin, from 1804. The reuben sandwich (1956) is "Not obviously connected" with the sense in rube [OED], possibly from Reuben's restaurant, a popular spot in New York's Lower East Side.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper