Definition of rumor in US English:


(British rumour)


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

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


be rumored
  • Be circulated as an unverified account.

    with clause ‘it's rumored that he lives on a houseboat’
    with infinitive ‘she is rumored to have gone into hiding’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Long since rumoured, it looks like this is actually getting serious.’
    • ‘Mr Dunne was rumoured to be considering his own bid for the group but cleared up speculation in recent weeks.’
    • ‘Last week, it was rumoured that the sexy blonde had reunited with Tommy.’
    • ‘Last year, it was rumoured that the couple's new London home was haunted..’
    • ‘At one stage, it was rumoured that the health board was buying up houses to house troublesome families in.’
    • ‘This place is rumoured to be losing money, and it's not difficult to see why.’
    • ‘The TV special will try to explore the curse rumoured to have caused the death of those involved in the discovery.’
    • ‘It is also rumoured that the family have now been moved to a safe house.’
    • ‘It is rumoured that the audited figures will reveal a bigger shortfall.’
    • ‘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 some of the dead were buried in the foundations of the wall to ward off evil spirits.’
    • ‘He has recently been linked with a switch to Darlington, while other clubs are also rumoured to be interested.’
    • ‘He was in ill health and was rumoured to be moving to warmer climes.’
    • ‘She was punished because her young brother was rumoured to have been seen in the company of a girl from a rival tribe.’
    • ‘Because her husband is also expected to attend, it is rumoured that his best mate Robbie could also put in an appearance.’
    • ‘The celebrity is rumoured to have checked into a hotel under the name ‘Mrs Smith’.’
    • ‘It was rumoured that Queen Victoria ordered members of the cabinet to take action to end the liaison.’
    • ‘European cafe culture looks set to hit Fishguard, as two new cafes and one bar are rumoured to be opening in the town.’
    said to be, reported to be
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Old French rumur, from Latin rumor ‘noise’.