General English

  • noun small stones or broken bricks from damaged buildings, also used in making such things as paths.


  • Rough stones of irregular shape and size, broken from larger masses by geological processes or by quarrying.

Real Estate

  • noun broken stones, bricks and other materials from buildings that have fallen down or been demolished
  • noun rough unfinished stones used to fill space between walls or to build the bulk of a wall that will have a finishing surface of dressed stone
  • noun masonry that is constructed using rough unfinished stones

Origin & History of “rubble”

Old French robe (a relative of English rob) originally meant ‘loot, odds and ends stolen’ (its later sense ‘stolen clothes’ led on to English robe). From it was derived Anglo-Norman *robel ‘bits of broken stone’, which passed into English as rubble. The plural of *robel would have been *robeus, and this may have been the starting point for Anglo-Norman rubbous, which became English rubbish (14th c.).