Definition of rubble in US English:



  • 1Waste or rough fragments of stone, brick, concrete, etc., especially as the debris from the demolition of buildings.

    ‘two buildings collapsed, trapping scores of people in the rubble’
    • ‘Neighbours of a family whose home was ripped apart by a gas explosion have told of the horrifying blast which reduced it to rubble.’
    • ‘In January, an order was served on the company demanding that rubbish, rubble and waste was cleared from the land.’
    • ‘The resulting blast was so powerful that it reduced the four-storey building to rubble.’
    • ‘The once thriving riverside town has been reduced to rubble, most of its buildings leveled by the earthquake.’
    • ‘A mechanical digger will also be used to remove the large amount of concrete and rubble that has been dumped.’
    • ‘But yesterday at 12 noon Vernon House was reduced to rubble by demolition experts.’
    • ‘The buildings were reduced to rubble, a few sorry pillars left standing.’
    • ‘Despite efforts to save the nightclub, it was reduced to rubble earlier this year to make way for retirement flats and shops.’
    • ‘These old photographs show York's former garden suburb reduced to rubble following the demolition of condemned houses in the early 1960s.’
    • ‘Now, they were not so much hampered by rubble and debris as by several inches of sticky yellow mud.’
    • ‘When they arrived at one particular intersection, they found it was now blocked by debris and rubble.’
    • ‘Seventeen people were killed and the town was reduced to rubble in the quake.’
    • ‘Churches, mosques, towns and villages were reduced to rubble.’
    • ‘There is still some demolition rubble on the site and there is also some concern about asbestos sheeting which, as far as we know, is being stored in one of the remaining garages.’
    • ‘Residents in Pear Tree Close were horrified when a large tipper truck dumped tons of rubble and waste in their quiet residential street on March 16.’
    • ‘It reduced buildings to rubble, trapping people inside them.’
    • ‘Towns have been reduced to rubble, buildings gutted and property worth millions of U.S. dollars destroyed.’
    • ‘He rushed towards the well, but now it was filled with rubble and debris.’
    • ‘During the summer months some of the residents had carried out back-breaking work clearing builders' waste and rubble from the area.’
    • ‘Tons of bricks and rubble crashed on to the pavement as half the gable end of the building gave way.’
    debris, remains, ruins, wreckage
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Pieces of rough or undressed stone used in building walls, especially as filling for cavities.
      • ‘As was often the case in those days, structural perimeter walls are in coursed rubble.’
      • ‘The external plaster was replaced with a lime-based plaster to allow the stone rubble walls to breathe.’
      • ‘They were infilled with rubble and sodded to create a low rectangular mound.’
      • ‘It is built of rubble stone with ashlar dressings on a granite plinth.’
      • ‘It is made of roughly coursed undressed rectangular stone facings with a rubble core.’
      • ‘The walls are made of limestone rubble and the roof is covered with stone tiles.’
      • ‘The walls are rubble and sand, infested with fleas and insects.’


Late Middle English: perhaps from an Anglo-Norman French alteration of Old French robe ‘spoils’; compare with rubbish.