1

rub

play
verb \ ˈrəb \

Definition of rub

rubbed; rubbing
intransitive verb
1 a :to move along the surface of a body with pressure :grate
b (1) :to fret or chafe with or as if with friction
(2) :to cause discontent, irritation, or anger
2 :to continue in a situation usually with slight difficulty
  • in spite of financial difficulties, he is rubbing along
3 :to admit of being rubbed (as for erasure or obliteration)
transitive verb
1 a :to subject to or as if to the action of something moving especially back and forth with pressure and friction
b (1) :to cause (a body) to move with pressure and friction along a surface
(2) :to treat in any of various ways by rubbing
c :to bring into reciprocal back-and-forth or rotary contact
rub elbows or rub shoulders
:to associate closely :mingle
rub one's nose in
:to bring forcefully or repeatedly to one's attention
rub the wrong way

Examples of rub in a Sentence

  1. Could you rub my shoulders?

  2. He blinked and rubbed his eyes.

  3. The cat rubbed itself against my leg.

  4. The cat rubbed against my leg.

  5. Don't rub too hard or you'll tear the paper.

  6. He rubbed his hands with glee.

  7. There was a squeak when the boards rubbed together.

  8. The back of my shoe is rubbing against my heel and giving me a blister.

  9. There are marks where the chair has rubbed against the wall.

  10. There are marks where the chair has been rubbing the wall.

Recent Examples of rub from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of rub

Middle English rubben; akin to East Frisian rubben to rub, scrape, Icelandic rubba to scrape


2

rub

noun

Definition of rub

1 a :an unevenness of surface (as of the ground in lawn bowling)
b :obstruction, difficulty
  • the rub is that so few of the scholars have any sense of this truth themselves
  • —Benjamin Farrington
c :something grating to the feelings (such as a gibe or harsh criticism)
d :something that mars serenity
2 :the application of friction with pressure
  • an alcohol rub
3 US :a combination of spices that is rubbed into the surface of meat before the meat is cooked
  • used a dry rub on the pork ribs

Examples of rub in a Sentence

  1. She's an amazing cook, but she rarely has time to make meals. There's the rub.

  2. He used his favorite rub on the steaks.

  3. a dry rub for chicken

Recent Examples of rub from the Web

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

First Known Use of rub

1577



RUB Defined for English Language Learners

rub

play
verb

Definition of rub for English Language Learners

  • : to move something (such as your hand or an object) back and forth along the surface of (something) while pressing

  • : to move (two things) back and forth against each other

  • : to move back and forth many times against something in a way that causes pain or damage


rub

noun

Definition of rub for English Language Learners

  • : an act of rubbing a surface with your hands or an object

  • the rub : something that causes a difficulty or problem

  • : a combination of spices that is rubbed into the surface of meat before the meat is cooked


RUB Defined for Kids

1

rub

play
verb \ ˈrəb \

Definition of rub for Students

rubbed; rubbing
1 :to move along the surface of something with pressure
  • Kitty rubbed against my legs.
2 :to move back and forth against something in a way that causes pain or damage The back of my shoe is rubbing against my heel.
3 :to scour, polish, or smear by pressure and friction
  • He rubbed oil on the wood.
rub elbows with
:to meet and talk with in a friendly way
  • Stink got to rub elbows with the president …
  • —Megan McDonald, Judy Moody
rub in
:to keep reminding someone of (something unpleasant)
  • I know I looked silly. Don't rub it in.
rub off
:to come off a surface and often stick to another surface by rubbing
  • The ink rubbed off on my fingers.
rub the wrong way
:to cause to be angry :irritate

2

rub

noun

Definition of rub for Students

1 :the act of rubbing
  • a back rub
2 :something that causes a problem

Medical Dictionary

rub

play
noun \ ˈrəb \

medical Definition of rub

1 :the application of friction with pressure
  • an alcohol rub
2 :a sound heard in auscultation that is produced by the friction of one structure moving against another


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