from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Idle, silly talk; babblement.
  • n. A tumultuous crowd or assemblage; a disorderly rout; a rabble.
  • n. Refuse; dregs.


  • And then he offer'd it the third time; he put it the third time by: and, still, as he refus'd it, the rabblement hooted and clapp'd their chopp'd hands, and threw up their sweaty nightcaps and utter'd such a deal of stinking breath because Caesar refused the crown that it had almost choked Caesar; for he swounded and fell down at it: and for mine own part, I durst not laugh, for fear of opening my lips and receiving the bad air.

    The New Hudson Shakespeare: Julius Cæsar

  • Then came together from all places of the den, Beelzebub, Lucifer, Apollyon, with the rest of the rabblement there, to hear what news from Mansoul.

    John Bunyan, The Holy War

  • He and Tom, alarmed by the rabblement of the Sans Souci, had stopped the sale; they had done so without danger, because The Land we Live in still continued selling; it was claimed, besides, that they had been the first to begin.

    Robert Louis Stevenson, In the South Seas


This word comes from the Middle English ‘rablen,’ speak in a rapid, confused manner, probably imitative of hurry and confusion.