Definition of rumble in English:


Syllabification: rum·ble
Pronunciation: /ˈrəmbəl


1 [no object] Make a continuous deep, resonant sound: thunder rumbled, lightning flickered
More 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 streets
More 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 instruction
More 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.
2 [no object] US informal Take part in a street fight between gangs or large groups: the five of them rumbled with the men in the other car
3 [with object] British informal Discover (an illicit activity or its perpetrator): it wouldn’t need a genius to rumble my little game
More 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.


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1A continuous deep, resonant sound like distant thunder: the steady rumble of traffic figurative there were rumbles of discontent from small retailers
More 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.

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