a story or statement in general circulation without confirmation or certainty as to facts: a rumor of war.
gossip; hearsay: Don't listen to rumor.
Archaic. a continuous, confused noise; clamor; din.

verb (used with object)

to circulate, report, or assert by a rumor: It is rumored that the king is dead.

Also especially British, ru·mour.

Origin of rumor

1325–75; Middle English rumour < Middle French < Latin rūmor; akin to Sanskrit rāuti, rāvati (he) cries
Related formsun·ru·mored, adjective

Synonyms for rumor

1. report. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rumour

Contemporary Examples of rumour

Historical Examples of rumour

  • The rumour of our journey had spread, but too late for the Press to get hold of the news.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • The rumour spread that he had yielded to the entreaties of his wife Eugenie.

  • The rumour of his appearance is wrapped in the larger rumour of war.

    A Dish Of Orts

    George MacDonald

  • And then, from the Listening-in-Service, came the rumour of the strike.

  • Rumour spreads quick, but the good mare's stride is quicker still.'

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

British Dictionary definitions for rumour


US rumor


  1. information, often a mixture of truth and untruth, passed around verbally
  2. (in combination)a rumour-monger
gossip or hearsay
archaic din or clamour
obsolete fame or reputation


(tr; usually passive) to pass around or circulate in the form of a rumourit is rumoured that the Queen is coming
literary to make or cause to make a murmuring noise

Word Origin for rumour

C14: via Old French from Latin rūmor common talk; related to Old Norse rymja to roar, Sanskrit rāut he cries
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 rumour

chiefly British English spelling of rumor; see -or. Related: Rumoured; rumouring.



late 14c., from Old French rumor "commotion, widespread noise or report" (Modern French rumeur), from Latin rumorem (nominative rumor) "noise, clamor, common talk, hearsay, popular opinion," related to ravus "hoarse," from PIE *reu- "to bellow." Related: Rumorous. Rumor mill is from 1887. Dutch rumoer, German Rumor are from French.



1590s, "spread a rumor; spread by way of rumor," from rumor (n.). Related: Rumored; rumoring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper