Definition of rumour in English:


(US rumor)


  • A currently circulating story or report of uncertain or doubtful truth.

    ‘they were investigating rumours of a massacre’
    [mass noun] ‘rumour has it that he will take a year off’
    • ‘There the matter ended and six months passed without any further published stories or rumours.’
    • ‘He urged investors to make their decisions based on hard information and not rumors.’
    • ‘Ill-informed rumours on her health have circulated but aides say she is well for a woman of her great age.’
    • ‘Mr Dent spoke out after rumours began circulating in the town centre that he had come back in with a fresh deal.’
    • ‘Other rumors circulate about teen stars caught up in a life of drugs and partying.’
    • ‘Rachel recently sparked rumours she was planning to wed Sean after being spotted wearing a huge ring.’
    • ‘At the same time strong rumors have been circulating among the workforce that the company has already been sold.’
    • ‘Since their split, rumours have been rife as to why they actually separated.’
    • ‘Although people have a right to know about info like this, the story is a rumour and hardly credible.’
    • ‘This week I would like to dispel some of the myths and rumours regarding dogs and raw food.’
    • ‘Over the years, many rumours have circulated regarding improvement to this junction.’
    • ‘It's completely untrue and frankly these rumours are upsetting for everyone involved.’
    • ‘Mr Bridges said the rumours had been fuelled by a report in a free newspaper.’
    • ‘Dark rumors circulated about the politics within the relevant Nobel committee.’
    • ‘Spreading nasty rumors about her is likely to make your current situation worse.’
    • ‘It is our duty not to spread rumours or false statements that can only worsen the situation.’
    • ‘He said rumours were abounding that the base could still be used by the military.’
    • ‘There were rumours of course, but no one could publish the stories without being sued for liable.’
    • ‘He said there was no truth to the rumour that he had his vet administer a sedative to his horse before the race.’
    • ‘The people can't tell rumors from the truth, so they choose what they want to believe.’
    gossip, hearsay, talk, tittle-tattle
    piece of gossip, report, story, whisper, canard
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  • Be circulated as an unverified account.

    [with clause] ‘it's rumoured that he lives on a houseboat’
    [with infinitive] ‘she is rumoured to have gone into hiding’
    • ‘Last year, it was rumoured that the couple's new London home was haunted..’
    • ‘The original house was built on an ancient graveyard and its last owner is rumoured to have fled in terror at the ghostly goings on.’
    • ‘It is rumoured that the audited figures will reveal a bigger shortfall.’
    • ‘She was punished because her young brother was rumoured to have been seen in the company of a girl from a rival tribe.’
    • ‘It is also rumoured that the family have now been moved to a safe house.’
    • ‘It is rumoured that some of the dead were buried in the foundations of the wall to ward off evil spirits.’
    • ‘Last week, it was rumoured that the sexy blonde had reunited with Tommy.’
    • ‘European cafe culture looks set to hit Fishguard, as two new cafes and one bar are rumoured to be opening in the town.’
    • ‘The TV special will try to explore the curse rumoured to have caused the death of those involved in the discovery.’
    • ‘This place is rumoured to be losing money, and it's not difficult to see why.’
    • ‘He has recently been linked with a switch to Darlington, while other clubs are also rumoured to be interested.’
    • ‘Long since rumoured, it looks like this is actually getting serious.’
    • ‘At one stage, it was rumoured that the health board was buying up houses to house troublesome families in.’
    • ‘Mr Dunne was rumoured to be considering his own bid for the group but cleared up speculation in recent weeks.’
    • ‘Because her husband is also expected to attend, it is rumoured that his best mate Robbie could also put in an appearance.’
    • ‘He was in ill health and was rumoured to be moving to warmer climes.’
    • ‘However, it was also rumoured last week that a third possible bidder might yet emerge from Britain.’
    • ‘Some members of the amateur club are rumoured to be reluctant to move.’
    • ‘It was rumoured that Queen Victoria ordered members of the cabinet to take action to end the liaison.’
    • ‘The celebrity is rumoured to have checked into a hotel under the name ‘Mrs Smith’.’
    said to be, reported to be
    reportedly, reputedly, allegedly, apparently, by all accounts, so the story goes
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Late Middle English: from Old French rumur, from Latin rumor noise.