[ ruhm-buhl ]
See synonyms for: rumblerumbling on

verb (used without object),rum·bled, rum·bling.
  1. to make a deep, heavy, somewhat muffled, continuous sound, as thunder.

  2. to move or travel with such a sound: The train rumbled on.

  1. Slang. to have or take part in a street fight between or among teenage gangs: Rival gangs rumbled on Saturday afternoon.

verb (used with object),rum·bled, rum·bling.
  1. to give forth or utter with a rumbling sound: to rumble a command.

  2. to cause to make or move with a rumbling sound: to rumble a wagon over the ground.

  1. to subject to the action of a rumble or tumbling box, as for the purpose of polishing.

  1. a deep, heavy, somewhat muffled, continuous sound: the rumble of tanks across a bridge.

  1. a rear part of a carriage containing seating accommodations, as for servants, or space for baggage.

  2. a tumbling box.

  3. Slang. a street fight between rival teenage gangs.

Origin of rumble

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English verb romblen, rumblen; compare Dutch rommelen, probably imitative of the sound; 1940–45 for def. 3

Other words for rumble

Other words from rumble

  • rumbler, noun
  • rum·bling·ly, adverb

Words Nearby rumble Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use rumble in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for rumble


/ (ˈrʌmbəl) /

  1. to make or cause to make a deep resonant sound: thunder rumbled in the sky

  2. to move with such a sound: the train rumbled along

  1. (tr) to utter with a rumbling sound: he rumbled an order

  2. (tr) to tumble (metal components, gemstones, etc) in a barrel of smooth stone in order to polish them

  3. (tr) British informal to find out about (someone or something); discover (something): the police rumbled their plans

  4. (intr) US slang to be involved in a gang fight

  1. a deep resonant sound

  2. a widespread murmur of discontent

  1. another name for tumbler (def. 4)

  2. US, Canadian and NZ slang a gang fight

Origin of rumble

C14: perhaps from Middle Dutch rummelen; related to German rummeln, rumpeln

Derived forms of rumble

  • rumbler, noun
  • rumbling, adjective
  • rumblingly, adverb

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