rub off


Definition of rub off

intransitive verb

: to become transferred bad habits rubbed off on them carbon rubs off on your hands

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from rub off

rub-off \ ˈrəb-​ˌȯf How to pronounce rub-off (audio) \ noun

Examples of rub off in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Also true to his word, none of it rubbed off on my clothes or my bedsheets, so 10/10 there. Rebecca Dancer, Allure, "Exclusive: Isle of Paradise Launches Its First Clear Tanning Mousse, and I Got to Try It," 1 Apr. 2019 To be safe, only use this product on white shoes to avoid rubbing off any color. Isadora Baum, SELF, "Here’s How to Clean Sneakers Depending on the Material," 17 Feb. 2019 She's worn it several times before today, which means maybe the Duchess of Cambridge's color choices are rubbing off on Meghan. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle Matched in Burgundy Outfits While Attending Different Events," 21 Nov. 2018 Think: Admit it, you've been known to occasionally use a bit of saliva to rub off a smudge now and then. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Here are your 2018 Ig Nobel Prize winners," 13 Sep. 2018 The president clearly hoped the World Cup glow would rub off on him, raising him up in the eyes of a nation where his economic reforms have drawn fierce protests and labor strikes. Elaine Ganley, The Seattle Times, "World Cup win gives France new set of heroes, needed boost," 17 July 2018 My mom couldn't resist pulling over to every roadside junk shop in search of the unusual and the zany, and that rubbed off on me. Douglas Brenner, House Beautiful, "Leslie Klotz on Her Parisian-Inspired Apartment in Manhattan," 8 Dec. 2014 Existing shareholders at Aston Martin, mainly Italian and Kuwaiti investors, will be hoping that some of 007’s mojo will rub off on the shares. Ben Dummett, WSJ, "Aston Martin Prepares for IPO," 28 Aug. 2018 To get a smooth, even, application, makeup artist Ashleigh Ciucci recommends using your fingers, so that the oils on your hands rub off on the dry skin on your face. Emily Rekstis, SELF, "The Right Way to Apply Foundation for Oily, Dry, or Combination Skin," 6 Aug. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of rub off

1869, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rub off

Dictionary Entries near rub off




rub off

rub of the green

rub out

rub rail

Statistics for rub off

Last Updated

15 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rub off

The first known use of rub off was in 1869

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on rub off

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rub off

Comments on rub off

What made you want to look up rub off? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of returning to life

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!