late 14c., probably related to M.Du. rommelen "to rumble," M.H.G. rummeln, O.N. rymja "to shout, roar," all of imitative origin. The noun is attested from late 14c. Slang noun meaning "gang fight" is from 1946. Meaning "backmost part of a carriage" is from 1808 (earlier rumbler, 1801), probably from the effect of sitting over the wheels; hence rumble seat (1912).