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[roo-mer] /ˈru mər/
a story or statement in general circulation without confirmation or certainty as to facts:
a rumor of war.
gossip; hearsay:
Don't listen to rumor.
Archaic. a continuous, confused noise; clamor; din.
verb (used with object)
to circulate, report, or assert by a rumor:
It is rumored that the king is dead.
Also, especially British, rumour.
Origin of rumor
1325-75; Middle English rumour < Middle French < Latin rūmor; akin to Sanskrit rāuti, rāvati (he) cries
Related forms
unrumored, adjective
1. report. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for rumour
  • All too often it seems rumour or ill-founded preconceptions become the basis for judgment.
  • If it helps you out, we'd be more than happy to start a celebrity rumour about you.
  • It adds nothing to the discussion since it has about the same weight as unsubstantiated rumour.
  • Perhaps the local constabulary should track down whoever it was that started the rumour about the meteorite causing the fire.
  • Everything is chaotic, rumour and intrigue thrive and no-one has the whole story.
  • People need information fast about where to get food, shelter, how to sort out truth from rumour.
  • The rumour mill may continue incessantly as it always does, but, for the time being no players will be swapping kits.
  • There was even a rumour that his attics were full of dead wives, all of them hanging from butcher's hooks.
  • The rumour bore that, though there had been no loss of honour, there had been a dreadful loss of life.
  • In countries with opaque and authoritarian political systems, rumour is often the only alternative to official news sources.
British Dictionary definitions for rumour


  1. information, often a mixture of truth and untruth, passed around verbally
  2. (in combination): a rumour-monger
gossip or hearsay
(archaic) din or clamour
(obsolete) fame or reputation
(transitive; usually passive) to pass around or circulate in the form of a rumour: it is rumoured that the Queen is coming
(literary) to make or cause to make a murmuring noise
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Latin rūmor common talk; related to Old Norse rymja to roar, Sanskrit rāut he cries
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rumour

chiefly British English spelling of rumor; see -or. Related: Rumoured; rumouring.



late 14c., from Old French rumor "commotion, widespread noise or report" (Modern French rumeur), from Latin rumorem (nominative rumor) "noise, clamor, common talk, hearsay, popular opinion," related to ravus "hoarse," from PIE *reu- "to bellow." Related: Rumorous. Rumor mill is from 1887. Dutch rumoer, German Rumor are from French.


1590s, "spread a rumor; spread by way of rumor," from rumor (n.). Related: Rumored; rumoring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for rumour


Related Terms

latrine rumor

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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