- 1A disorderly crowd; a mob: he was met by a rabble of noisy, angry youthsMore 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.
- 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 prisonMore example sentences
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
- There were a few middle-aged guys trying to keep the rabble under control.
late Middle English (in the senses 'string of meaningless words' and 'pack of animals'): perhaps related to dialect rabble 'to gabble'.