- 1 [no object] Make a continuous deep, resonant sound: thunder rumbled, lightning flickeredMore example sentences
- The clouds remained, lightning continued to strike, and thunder continued to rumble, but there was no rain.
- Lightning struck and thunder rumbled all around us.
- Instantaneously, the sky darkened, thunder rumbled, and lightning flashed.
- 1.1 [with adverbial of direction] (Especially of a large vehicle) move with a rumbling sound: heavy trucks rumbled through the streetsMore example sentences
- Back at the ambulance base, army vehicles rumble past.
- The vehicle rumbled slowly past and stopped in the middle of the street.
- Willersey residents were hoping their campaign to stop heavy lorries rumbling through their village streets would move up a gear after a meeting last night.
- 1.2 [with object] Utter in a deep, resonant voice: the man’s low voice rumbled an instructionMore example sentences
- ‘I see you've learned to tango,’ he murmured, his low voice rumbling softly in my ear.
- He answered the phone quickly, his deep voice rumbling through the line.
- ‘David, I thought that we talked about this last year,’ a deep masculine voice rumbled dangerously.
- 1.3(Of a person’s stomach) make a deep, resonant sound due to hunger.More example sentences
- So here we were, feeling faint with hunger, stomachs rumbling and no grub ready - and getting stiffer by the minute after our trek.
- Vivian had just realized that her stomach was rumbling with hunger.
- Their pockets were virtually empty and their stomachs were rumbling with hunger.
- 3 [with object] British • informal Discover (an illicit activity or its perpetrator): it wouldn’t need a genius to rumble my little gameMore example sentences
- Just when it looked like we had rumbled them, they perpetrated on us probably the greatest political confidence trick of the century.
- What if he knows Mick's upstairs, what if he's rumbled our game?
- He collected R4000 in wedding gifts - but a suspicious guest rumbled him and the game was up.
nounBack to top
- 1A continuous deep, resonant sound like distant thunder: the steady rumble of traffic • figurative there were rumbles of discontent from small retailersMore example sentences
- Grey clouds rolled in from the south, deep rumbles of thunder accompanying them.
- The deep rumble sounded again and this time, the entire place shook.
- I could hear the distant rumble of thunder in the background but all sound was lost to my ears as Darius walked in.
- 2US • informal A street fight between gangs or large groups.More example sentences
- Ponyboy looks at the other boys who join his gang for the rumble.
- The rumble was quickly controlled by nearby officers and my attention returned to more important matters.
- Tensions and emotions ran high as both gangs headed for the chosen rumble spot at the football field.
late Middle English: probably from Middle Dutch rommelen, rummelen, of imitative origin. sense 3 of the verb may be a different word.