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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Of course, the rumour was not true; she did not believe a word of it; and it was disloyal to Paul even to be annoyed by it.

    The Making of a Prig Evelyn Sharp
  • The rumour of his appearance is wrapped in the larger rumour of war.

    A Dish Of Orts George MacDonald
  • Indeed, there's a rumour flying about, and I've come down to speak with you and Lucy on the subject.

    Olla Podrida Frederick Marryat
  • I give you the rumour as it has reached me; but I cannot, as yet, vouch for its accuracy.

  • He had heard a rumour by accident of our arrival, and had steamed down to the south-west end of the Lake to verify it.

  • They were filled with people, for the rumour of that day's proceedings had made a great noise.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • He listened immobile to her step fading down the garden: he heard the rumour of her departure.

    The King of Alsander James Elroy Flecker
  • One could see a rumour begin and swell and change and increase.

    Changing Winds St. John G. Ervine
  • But now, if this rumour were true, there had been positive dishonesty.

    The Prime Minister Anthony Trollope
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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