Definition of rabble in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈrab(ə)l/


1A disorderly crowd; a mob: he was met by a rabble of noisy, angry youths
More example sentences
  • The rest of his army is a miscellaneous rabble who have never seen war, and will run away when they hear the first shot fired.
  • ‘Independence day has always been a noisy holiday celebrating the dizzying rabble of a populist uprising,’ he writes in his inimitable style.
  • A rabble gathers outside Whitechapel tube station at 2pm every Sunday afternoon, waits for the guide to make him/herself known, pays a fiver, then sets off to hear about the real history of the area.
mob, (disorderly) crowd, throng, gang, swarm, host, horde, pack, press, crush, jam, gathering, assemblage, multitude, mass, body, group
archaic rout
1.1 (the rabble) Ordinary people, especially when regarded as socially inferior or uncouth: the British feel no compunction about ushering the gentry into the coach and packing the rabble off to debtor’s prison
More example sentences
  • There were a few middle-aged guys trying to keep the rabble under control.
the common people, the masses, the populace, the public, the multitude, the rank and file, the commonality, the commonalty, the third estate, the plebeians, the proletariat, the peasantry, the crowd, the hoi polloi, the lower classes, the common herd, the riff-raff, the canaille, the great unwashed, the dregs of society, the ragtag (and bobtail), the proles, the plebs
2 rare A large group of butterflies: we arrived at the grounds after following a rabble of butterflies
More example sentences
  • We arrived at the grounds after following a rabble of butterflies through the streets.
  • Watching a rabble of butterflies virtually fill a six-story auditorium should be entertainment enough for adolescents not yet ruined by videogames, but Flight of the Butterflies in 3D has the added value of a good story.
  • Terminal 3 has a free movie theater, a koi pond, and an astounding "butterfly garden" where you wander through tropical plants in the company of a rabble of butterflies.


Late Middle English (in the senses 'string of meaningless words' and 'pack of animals'): perhaps related to dialect rabble 'to gabble'.

Words that rhyme with rabble

babble, bedabble, dabble, drabble, gabble, grabble, scrabble

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: rab¦ble

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