ADJ. malicious, nasty, scurrilous, ugly, vicious | baseless, false, unconfirmed, unfounded, unsubstantiated, wild | strong, widespread | persistent
VERB + RUMOUR start | fuel His lengthy absence from work fuelled rumours that he might have been sacked. | spread | hear | believe | deny | confirm The actor confirmed rumours that he will be leaving the series. | quash, scotch, silence The Chief Executive issued a statement to quash rumours of financial problems.
RUMOUR + VERB circulate, get about/around, go around/round, spread | abound, be flying about/around, be rife Rumours about an impending royal divorce were rife. | sweep sth The rumour quickly swept the town. | persist
RUMOUR + NOUN factory, mill The Washington rumour mill suggests the money changed hands illegally.
PREP. amid/amidst ~s The manager resigned suddenly amidst rumours of misconduct. | ~ about/concerning/surrounding rumours surrounding the closure of the hospital | ~ of There were persistent rumours of drug taking among staff.
PHRASES rumour has it that … Rumour has it that he was sacked from his last job. | there is no truth in the rumour There is no truth in the rumour that the head teacher is about to resign.