rabble 1[rab-uh l] ExamplesWord Origin See more synonyms for rabble on Thesaurus.com noun

  1. a disorderly crowd; mob.
  2. the rabble, the lower classes; the common people: The nobility held the rabble in complete contempt.

verb (used with object), rab·bled, rab·bling.

  1. to beset as a rabble does; mob.

Origin of rabble 1 1350–1400; Middle English rabel (noun), of uncertain origin rabble 2 [rab-uh l]Metallurgy noun

  1. a tool or mechanically operated device used for stirring or mixing a charge in a roasting furnace.

verb (used with object), rab·bled, rab·bling.

  1. to stir (a charge) in a roasting furnace.

Origin of rabble 2 1655–65; French râble fire-shovel, tool, Middle French raable Latin rutābulum implement for shifting hot coals, equivalent to *rutā(re) presumed frequentative of ruere to churn up, disturb + -bulum suffix of instrumentRelated formsrab·bler, noun Related Words for rabble gathering, horde, riot, proletariat, crowd, masses, throng, herd, riffraff, commonality, mass, gang, scum, flock, drove, ring, multitude, pack Examples from the Web for rabble Contemporary Examples of rabble

  • All the excitement of her rabble rousing had been suitably extinguished, along with our enthusiasm for this show.

    ‘Downton Abbey’ Finale Review: The Depressing Demise of a Once-Great Show

    Kevin Fallon

    February 24, 2014

  • Earlier in the book, Murray waxed indignant about the “condescension toward the rabble” he detected in the new upper class.

    Social Science Minus the Science

    David Frum

    February 8, 2012

  • The culture of the new upper class carries with it an unmistakable whiff of a ‘we’re better than the rabble’ mentality.

    Charles Murray’s Imaginary Elite

    David Frum

    February 7, 2012

  • Could the West rely on the more or less faceless Libyan opposition, a rabble in arms, to be so pliable?

    Obama’s Mistake in Libya

    Christopher Dickey

    March 8, 2011

  • I was trapped backstage with a rabble of photographers behind a security fence as the models filed out.

    The World’s Savviest Supermodel

    Dom Phillips

    May 31, 2010

  • Historical Examples of rabble

  • She lifted one hand in a gesture of command, and called out to the rabble.

    Priestess of the Flame

    Sewell Peaslee Wright

  • Behind these stood a rabble of some thirty others at six sous apiece.


    Rafael Sabatini

  • It is the day of the Dantons, and the Marats, the day of the rabble.


    Rafael Sabatini

  • A person of breeding choosing the cause of the rout and rabble!

    The Strollers

    Frederic S. Isham

  • And are these people—this rabble that you talk of—received as my papa’s guests?

    That Boy Of Norcott’s

    Charles James Lever

  • British Dictionary definitions for rabble rabble 1 noun

    1. a disorderly crowd; mob
    2. the rabble derogatory the common people

    Word Origin for rabble C14 (in the sense: a pack of animals): of uncertain origin; perhaps related to Middle Dutch rabbelen to chatter, rattle rabble 2 noun

    1. Also called: rabbler an iron tool or mechanical device for stirring, mixing, or skimming a molten charge in a roasting furnace


    1. (tr) to stir, mix, or skim (the molten charge) in a roasting furnace

    Word Origin for rabble C17: from French râble, from Latin rutābulum rake for a furnace, from ruere to rake, dig up Word Origin and History for rabble n.1

    c.1300, “pack of animals,” possibly related to Middle English rablen “to gabble, speak in a rapid, confused manner,” probably imitative of hurry, noise, and confusion (cf. Middle Dutch rabbelen, Low German rabbeln “to chatter”). Meaning “tumultuous crowd of vulgar, noisy people” is from late 14c.; applied contemptuously to the common or low part of any populace from 1550s.


    iron bar for stirring molten metal, 1864, from French râble, from Old French roable, from Latin rutabulum “rake, fire shovel,” from ruere to rake up (perhaps cognate with Lithuanian raju “to pluck out,” German roden “to root out”).

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