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




a male given name, form of Reuben.




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 LuciusRube, 1883–1970, U.S. cartoonist, whose work often depicts deviously complex and impractical inventions. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rube

Contemporary Examples of rube

Historical Examples of rube

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for rube



US and Canadian slang an unsophisticated countryman

Word Origin for rube

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

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