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[ruhb-uh l or for 3, 4, roo-buh l] /ˈrʌb əl or for 3, 4, ˈru bəl/
broken bits and pieces of anything, as that which is demolished:
Bombing reduced the town to rubble.
any solid substance, as ice, in irregularly broken pieces.
rough fragments of broken stone, formed by geological processes, in quarrying, etc., and sometimes used in masonry.
masonry built of rough fragments of broken stone.
Origin of rubble
1350-1400; Middle English rubel, robil < ?; cf. rubbish Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for rubble
  • After the quake she helped lug the conservatory's grand pianos from the rubble.
  • Unless you were trapped in the rubble and slowly died of thirst.
  • The main effect of this money is to make the rubble bounce.
  • The only dry land consists of a few spits of sun-whitened coral rubble and the dead shells of giant clams.
  • He swings the pick a few times before kneeling to inspect something unusual and then worries at some loose rubble with his hands.
  • He filled it with smooth rock instead of the usual rubble.
  • What the people digging through the rubble here at the center of the earthquake zone are pulling out now is entirely inanimate.
  • The corpses and rubble that littered the streets during five months of civil strife have gone.
  • It was unreal-an entire city had been reduced to rubble.
  • Your own street is a clutter of rubble and collapsed buildings.
British Dictionary definitions for rubble


fragments of broken stones, bricks, etc
any fragmented solid material, esp the debris from ruined buildings
(quarrying) the weathered surface layer of rock
Also called rubblework. masonry constructed of broken pieces of rock, stone, etc
Derived Forms
rubbly, adjective
Word Origin
C14 robyl; perhaps related to Middle English rubben to rub, or to rubbish
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 rubble

"rough, irregular stones broken from larger masses," late 14c., robeyl, from Anglo-French *robel "bits of broken stone," probably related to rubbish [OED], but also possibly from Old French robe (see rob).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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