Definition of grumble in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɡrəmbəl/


[reporting verb]
1Complain or protest about something in a bad-tempered but typically muted way: [with clause]: his father was grumbling that he hadn’t heard a word from him [with object]: he grumbled something about the decision being unnecessary
More example sentences
  • Some grumble and gripe, and lurch from crisis to crisis.
  • He grumbled under his breath in response as he rolled his eyes.
  • Several men grumbled loudly about this, and shifted uneasily about the room.
1.1 [no object] Make a low rumbling sound: thunder was grumbling somewhere in the distance
More example sentences
  • The crooning stopped, replaced by the sound of the engine grumbling steadily and the road moving beneath us smoothly.
  • The heavens began rumbling and grumbling, and without warning, great bolts of lightning flashed out and struck several larger demons down.
  • His voice was a low bass, rumbling and grumbling in his throat, and it came out slow and steady like molasses.
1.2 [no object] (Of an internal organ) give intermittent discomfort: your stomach is grumbling
More example sentences
  • The smell of cooking drifted up the stairs and we descended with stomachs grumbling to the traditionally decorated restaurant.
  • Stomach grumbling, I looked up at the clock - It was about noon - grimaced, and grabbed a banana off the counter, padding upstairs.
  • She fidgeted on her spot, shifting from one foot to another as an uncomfortable silence filled the air, but she was saved when her stomach started grumbling loudly.


1A complaint: the main grumble is that he spends too much time away
More example sentences
  • Were it not for the grumbles and complaints of those who cannot appreciate the art of commercials, I would certainly have more appetite for my dinner and eat more healthy food when I watch TV commercials.
  • She strode pas the long line, to grumbles and complaints from the waiting queue.
  • Finally unit number three ran without any complaints or grumbles.
complaint, grievance, protest, cavil, quibble, criticism, grouse
informal grouch, moan, beef, bitch, gripe
1.1A low rumbling sound.
Example sentences
  • The only reply was a grunt, and a grumble, which sounded like, ‘Go away.’
  • After that I made some sound that sounded like a grumble, but not quite.
  • He gave off a sigh that sounded like a grumble, but Stephanie didn't seem to have noticed.



Pronunciation: /ˈɡrəmb(ə)lər/
Example sentences
  • It merely brands you as the department's top grumbler, grouch and complainer.
  • Actually, I think those selfish grumblers should stop their complaining too because they're not the only ones who are suffering.
  • The sooner these negative old grumblers disappear the better.


Pronunciation: /-bliNGlē/
Example sentences
  • As the red-faced beasts melted grumblingly away into the forest, they looked like they couldn't believe I thought these were my tomatoes, my carrots.
  • And many of the thoughts, often viewed as grumblingly dyspeptic and idiosyncratic, have come to pass.
  • They either grumblingly did so, or lashed out at me.


Pronunciation: /-blē/
Example sentences
  • He is a wonderful man, especially because he sounds like a grumbly, rumbly bear when he wakes up and because he gets so concerned when I have one of my crying jags.
  • Unlike Lorraine I can't be bribed with mangos, and have never been as grumbly about people sending things with sand in as she is (probably because I don't have to clean it up).
  • He's been suffering the past couple of days, becoming morose and grumbly, so I gave him a good once over yesterday and, sure enough, there was the tell-tale little bulge high up in his tummy.


Late 16th century: from obsolete grumme (probably of Germanic origin and related to Dutch grommen) + -le4.

Words that rhyme with grumble

bumble, crumble, fumble, humble, jumble, mumble, rough-and-tumble, rumble, scumble, stumble, tumble, umbel

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: grum·ble

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