\ ˈgrəb How to pronounce grub (audio) \
grubbed; grubbing

Definition of grub

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to clear by digging up roots and stumps
2 : to dig up by or as if by the roots

intransitive verb

1a : to dig in the ground especially for something that is difficult to find or extract
b : to search about grubbed in the countryside for foodLamp
2 : toil, drudge grubbing along at newspaper jobs— Walter Kirn



Definition of grub (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a soft thick wormlike larva of an insect (such as a beetle)
2a : one who does menial work : drudge
b : a slovenly person
3 : food

Other Words from grub


grubber noun

Examples of grub in a Sentence

Verb Everyone was grubbing for whatever food they could find. students grubbing for better grades Noun Let's go get some grub. after the game, we headed to the diner for some hearty grub
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb No henchmen of adversarial intelligence services or money-grubbing fraudsters are going to abide by such a magnanimous international accord—even if governments or corporations pay it lip service. Robert Hackett, Fortune, 15 Apr. 2020 In its prickliness and insistence on the messiness and ineluctable pain of life, this is very different from the pandering, gold-grubbing titles that tend to hit theaters starting around now. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, 26 Sep. 2019 Get our daily newsletter China’s freewheeling internet users hand plenty of precious information over to the country’s data-grubbing apps. The Economist, 7 Sep. 2019 Sonny’s Everyman tale revives the hope that cinema might still be a popular art form, even as the movie year heads into its ugliest, platitudinous, awards-grubbing phase. Armond White, National Review, 6 Sep. 2019 Enter Maximus Worthington, a money-grubbing real estate tycoon danced by CTT artistic director and lead choreographer Mark Yonally, who promises big profits for DRC by using a trickle-down model. Lauren Warnecke,, 9 June 2019 In an interview with People, the 48-year-old opened up about her go-to grub. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, 3 May 2019 The amateur hunters and the independent and commercial hunters aren’t all venal, money-grubbing opportunists. Rachel Becker, The Verge, 15 Oct. 2018 Eleven-year-old Nan works with a gang of other kids her age, and younger, as a chimney sweep for a money-grubbing sadist named Wilkie Crudd. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, 20 Sep. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The beetle has a one-year life cycle but spends most of its life in the soil as a grub. Tim Johnson, Chicago Tribune, 16 July 2022 This brewpub has 19 beers on tap and serves a host of burgers, sandwiches and other pub grub. Chris Santella, Washington Post, 30 June 2022 And reflecting West Valley City’s rich and diverse food scene, 26 food vendors featured grub from all over the world along with American classics. Alixel Cabrera, The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 June 2022 And there might be ambitious others from the Pac-12 on the grub, too. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 1 July 2022 Wine-driven, the place may be — the walls are stacked with bottles — but don’t discount the grub. Mike Klingaman, Baltimore Sun, 30 June 2022 As long as the grub and grog kept comin’, and as long as everyone had a few turns gripping and ripping. Michael Mcknight, Los Angeles Times, 21 June 2022 Camaraderie was built over sharing a cold brew and some grub in a communal space, and the often beer-only bars soon fell into a category of their own. Megha Mcswain, Chron, 8 June 2022 There’s a new taproom and Atmosphere Kitchen, featuring elevated pub grub, tapas-style. Roger Naylor, The Arizona Republic, 7 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grub.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of grub


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for grub


Middle English grubben; akin to Old English grafan to dig — more at grave


Middle English grubbe, from grubben

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Time Traveler for grub

Time Traveler

The first known use of grub was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near grub



grub ax

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Cite this Entry

“Grub.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for grub


\ ˈgrəb How to pronounce grub (audio) \
grubbed; grubbing

Kids Definition of grub

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to find by digging grub for roots
2 : to work hard



Kids Definition of grub (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a soft thick wormlike larva (as of a beetle)


\ ˈgrəb How to pronounce grub (audio) \

Medical Definition of grub

: a soft thick wormlike larva of an insect

More from Merriam-Webster on grub

Nglish: Translation of grub for Spanish Speakers


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