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rumble Line breaks: rum¦ble
Pronunciation: /ˈrʌmb(ə)l/

Definition of rumble in English:


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 lorries 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: as she passed the buffet car her stomach rumbled
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.
1.4 (rumble on) British (Of a dispute) continue in a persistent but low-key way: the debate about television replays rumbles on
More example sentences
  • The pay dispute has been rumbling on since the spring.
  • The long-running firefighters' pay dispute rumbles on.
  • And so the dispute rumbles on, while the pink-harled house at its centre seems almost an after-thought.
2 [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.
3 [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


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1A continuous deep, resonant sound like distant thunder: the continuous rumble of traffic figurative there were of 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: a rumble between two gangs of street thugs
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 2 of the verb may be a different word.



Example sentences
  • I've always considered a monsoon storm a big event, but the point was driven home one night after a subtropical rumbler dropped an inch of rain in a little over half an hour.
  • You could alter the age group and draw the obvious parallels with the adrenalin rush of your favourite game, the latest arcade rumbler, whatever's included on your mobile phone's operating system.
  • For now we'll have to be content with this little dance floor rumbler.

Words that rhyme with rumble

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

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(especially as a direction) very loud or loudly