[ ruhb-uh l or for 3, 4, roo-buh l ]
/ ˈrʌb əl or for 3, 4, ˈru bəl /


broken bits and pieces of anything, as that which is demolished: Bombing reduced the town to rubble.
any solid substance, as ice, in irregularly broken pieces.
rough fragments of broken stone, formed by geological processes, in quarrying, etc., and sometimes used in masonry.
masonry built of rough fragments of broken stone.

Nearby words

  1. rubbing alcohol,
  2. rubbish,
  3. rubbish bin,
  4. rubbishy,
  5. rubbity,
  6. rubblework,
  7. rubbly,
  8. rubbra,
  9. rubby,
  10. rubdown

Origin of rubble

1350–1400; Middle English rubel, robil < ?; cf. rubbish Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rubble

British Dictionary definitions for rubble


/ (ˈrʌbəl) /


fragments of broken stones, bricks, etc
any fragmented solid material, esp the debris from ruined buildings
quarrying the weathered surface layer of rock
Also called: rubblework masonry constructed of broken pieces of rock, stone, etc
Derived Formsrubbly, adjective

Word Origin for rubble

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



"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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper