from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb Simple past tense and past participle of rumour.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • U2's Mother label rumoured to guarantee double any other offer.

    NME.COM - News 2009

  • Joshua Dallas is the name rumoured to be replacing Stuart Townsend.

    Filmstalker: Thor loses Fandral 2010

  • Another new name rumoured to be entering the house is troubled singer Bobby Brown.

    Evening Standard - Home 2011

  • Shock jock HOWARD STERN is the latest big name rumoured to be in the running to take over from SIMON COWELL on AMERICAN IDOL.

    Gaea Times (by Simple Thoughts) Breaking News and incisive views 24/7 2010

  • Shock jock Howard Stern is the latest big name rumoured to be in the running to take over from Simon Cowell on American Idol.

    JAM! Showbiz 2010

  • I can spit and cough better than any camel (a pre-requisite for arabi) .. p.s. I have it on good authority that the sacred name rumoured to be known only by the camel is; bawbag and he ain't a druid. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz snore zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz snore snort cough!!! cnut!!!

    Army Rumour Service 2009

  • PS - Try not to read too much into the difference between "rumoured" and "declared".

    Progressive Bloggers Blog 2010

  • PS - Try not to read too much into the difference between "rumoured" and "declared".

    Progressive Bloggers Blog 2010

  • January 26th to see if anything is revealed about this 'rumoured' Apple Tablet.

    UK Gadget and Tech News, Reviews and Shopping 2010

  • Who shuns the limelight but dates headline-grabbing Hollywood heart-throbs such as rumoured new beau Jake Gyllenhaal.

    The Sydney Morning Herald News Headlines 2010


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  • A highly unusual verb in Present-day English: it has only this one verb form. Although it was historically a full verb with all its parts ('Come hither Catesby, rumor it abroad, That Anne my Wife is very grieuous sicke.'—Richard III, IV.ii), for most of us today it can only be a past participle.

    This raises the question of why it should be counted a verb at all, rather than an adjective: compare 'she was rumoured to be dead', 'she was keen/eager/reluctant to be dead': adjectives can take infinitival clause complements.

    Well last night I found the answer, when I read this sentence opening Dorothy Parker's 'Mrs. Hoftstadter on Josephine Street':

    That summer, the Colonel and I leased a bungalow named 947 West Catalpa Boulevard, rumored completely furnished: three forks, but twenty-four nutpicks.

    'Completely furnished' is an adjective phrase (AdjP), and adjectives can't take AdjP complements, but verbs can: compare *'eager/easy/pleasant completely furnished' with 'considered completely furnished'. And indeed, on checking Google this morning, I find quite a few "was rumoured dead"—not the way I'd say it myself (I'd much prefer to add 'to be'), but common enough to prove it's verbal in Standard English. So, another discovery.

    August 28, 2008

  • Great post qroqqa, I hadn't thought about it, but this is indeed a very interesting word. Both the cases you list which you consider counterexamples seem to me to have an implicit "to be" in them, "rumored to be completely furnished" and "rumored to be dead". In fact, it doesn't sound wholly grammatical to me if I hear rumored outside of "to be".

    August 29, 2008

  • Thanks qroqqa, that's super interesting. So much so that I called it out in Errata post. Hope you don't mind.

    August 29, 2008

  • I should mention this is listed in the CGEL (along with several others) with this peculiarity of having only one verb form. What I just discovered was a convincing reason it couldn't be an adjective (if you allow these constructions without 'to be', and I agree they don't sound perfectly natural).

    August 29, 2008

  • Also interesting considering how words are often expanded in today's usage, such as the dreaded "leveraging" or even worse, "visioning".

    August 29, 2008

  • Another verb usage (not requiring "to be"), especially useful when aiming for mock pretentiousness:

    "I've heard it rumoured that…"

    I'd be all for reviving the imperative "rumour it abroad" as a nice alternative to "spread the word".

    August 30, 2008

  • I don't see why CGEL would rumour that.

    "Mama said, please turn the volume lower, neighbors are rumoring we are German sympathizers."

    --Joanna Macy, 2000, Widening Circles: A Memoir, p. 23

    "Surely some of them would rumor it about that Morgan's hypocrisy indeed knew no bounds."

    --J. Rigbie Turner, "Lex Talionis", Morgan Library Ghost Stories, 1990, p. 50

    August 31, 2008

  • Rumoured that mollusque italicised the page!

    August 31, 2008

  • Oops, fixed.

    August 31, 2008

  • Looks fine to me. Maybe just a rumour.

    August 31, 2008

  • The Macy quote is a good find, and indeed there are some Google hits for 'rumouring' and 'rumoring' in a verbal sense. Virtually no generalizations about language are absolute, and exceptions can always be found. However, it's probably still true that most of us don't use 'rumo(u)ring' as a verb. You have to wade through pages of Google hits to find genuine uses. (And CGEL documents Standard English, not all dialectal or idiolectal variations.)

    There's another common use, the noun, as in rumouring on the Internet. This doesn't count.

    Cosntructions with expletive object 'it' and a prepositional phrase with 'abroad', 'about' are normally conscious or subconscious echoes of Shakespeare. However, if someone said they would rumour it about that something happened, without knowing the Shakespeare quote, then that too would be a genuine instance of a living form of the verb.

    September 1, 2008