• synonyms


[ roo-buh n ]
/ ˈru bən /


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.”


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hoagie, hero, sub, BLT, Dagwood Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for reuben

British Dictionary definitions for reuben


/ (ˈruːbɪn) /

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