Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A tumultuous crowd; a mob.
  • n. The lowest or coarsest class of people. Often used with the.
  • n. A group of persons regarded with contempt: "After subsisting on the invisible margins of the art scene ... he was 'discovered' in the mid-80's, along with a crowd of like-minded rabble from the East Village” ( Richard B. Woodward).
  • n. An iron bar used to stir and skim molten iron in puddling.
  • n. Any of various similar tools or mechanically operated devices used in roasting or refining furnaces.
  • transitive v. To stir or skim (molten iron) with an iron bar.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mob; collectively, commoners; a disorderly group.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An iron bar, with the end bent, used in stirring or skimming molten iron in the process of puddling.
  • transitive v. To stir or skim with a rabble, as molten iron.
  • intransitive v. To speak in a confused manner.
  • n. A tumultuous crowd of vulgar, noisy people; a mob; a confused, disorderly throng.
  • n. A confused, incoherent discourse; a medley of voices; a chatter.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to a rabble; like, or suited to, a rabble; disorderly; vulgar.
  • transitive v. To insult, or assault, by a mob; to mob.
  • transitive v. To utter glibly and incoherently; to mouth without intelligence.
  • transitive v. To rumple; to crumple.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To speak confusedly; talk incoherently; utter nonsense.
  • To utter confusedly or incoherently; gabble or chatter out.
  • n. A tumultuous crowd of vulgar, noisy people; a confused, disorderly assemblage; a mob.
  • n. Specifically, the mass of common people; the ignorant populace; the mob: with the definite article.
  • n. Any confused crowd or assemblage; a haphazard conglomeration or aggregate, especially of things trivial or ignoble.
  • n. Synonyms Mob, etc. See populace.
  • Pertaining to or consisting of a rabble; riotous; tumultuous; disorderly; vulgar; low.
  • To assault in a violent and disorderly manner; mob.
  • n. An iron bar bent at right angles at one end, used in the operation of puddling for stirring the melted iron, so as to allow it to be more fully exposed to the action of the air and the lining of the furnace.
  • To stirand skim with a rabble or puddling-tool, as melted iron in a furnace.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. disparaging terms for the common people
  • n. a disorderly crowd of people

Etymologies

Middle English.
French râble, fire shovel, from Old French roable, from Medieval Latin rotābulum, from Latin rutābulum, from rutus, past participle of ruere, to rake up, tumble down.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • So his visualization is under-stated by a factor of about 7. 18 hr 16 min ago, -2/+6I'm poor because the rich are keeping me down * rabble rabble*.

    Original Signal - Transmitting Buzz

  • They hoarded their little fortunes without increasing them, and if what they called the rabble had not peopled New York and raised the price of land, which my people were merely too stolid to sell, we should long ago have gone under in penury.

    The Collectors

  • All this rabble rabble from the right and only 10% of the money has been spent. talk about jumping the gun.

    GOP slams Obama stimulus as ineffective, wasteful

  • But the notion that the established Sunni populations, with their well-established sense of dignity and cultural superiority, would consent to be ruled by the likes of Moqtada al-Sadr and his filthy Shia rabble from the slums of Baghdad is laughable.

    Matthew Yglesias » A Modest Proposal

  • The inference, which will be seized on by the "anti-war" rabble, is that if we pulled all our troops out of Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, all those nice little Moslem terrorists would leave us alone and go and slaughter some other poor, innocent victims (like in Madrid?).

    It's all the same war!

  • You may or may not have some good things to say but when your posts are insulting and devoid of pure lines of thought then the conclusion must be your interest lies in rabble rousing as opposed to a coherent discussion of viewpoints based upon fact. blanco_nino

    Zoning Board Rules for Planned Parenthood at cvillenews.com

  • And indeed there was something of Moses in this man, who thus led his little rabble from a Spanish seaport out across the salt wilderness of the ocean, and interpreted the signs for them, and stood between them and the powers of vengeance and terror that were set about their uncharted path.

    Christopher Columbus

  • They are a rabble, in other words, and the proper time to be sending trainers and "advisers" would be after Qaddafi has gone, when it will indeed be helpful and necessary to offer facilities and advice for a reconstituted Libyan army.

    Slate Magazine

  • In the past months, you will have heard them called a "rabble", but they would appear also to be something never tried in Libya before - the genuine representatives of their own people.

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • At the head of this rabble is Judas, one of the twelve, one of those that had been many years intimately conversant with our Lord

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume V (Matthew to John)

Comments

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  • Used in South Park to hilarious effects.

    September 9, 2007