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 \ noun

Examples of rub off in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

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 Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, rub off and discard the charred skins; also discard the stems and seeds. Joe Yonan, The Seattle Times, "Vegetarian (or vegan) guests for Thanksgiving? Serve them this beauty," 13 Nov. 2018 If your mother doesn’t believe in rule-breaking so much as never seeing the rules in the first place, then that attitude will inevitably rub off. Vogue, "Model Zaina Miuccia Is a Style Star in the Making—And So Is Her Equally Groovy Mom," 5 Sep. 2018 Academic research suggests that long-term market declines can rub off on consumers, leading them to feel less affluent and therefore spend less money. Matt Phillips, New York Times, "Markets That Climbed the Trump Bump Are Tumbling Down From It," 2 Apr. 2018 That promotional bit appears to have rubbed off on some, even in the media. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "Turn 4: Takeaways from TMS' summer race weekend," 10 June 2018 Perhaps the new team is hoping a little Meghan Markle sparkle will rub off? Lindsay Weinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Zosia Mamet, Evan Jonigkeit Model J. Crew's New Political Tees," 31 May 2018 Taylor and DeWine have run from Kasich's more moderate stances on health care and firearms and embraced Trump — hoping the president's popularity with conservatives will rub off on them. Jessie Balmert, USA TODAY, "Ohio primary: The wacky, bitter battle to replace Gov. John Kasich," 6 May 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

9 Dec 2018

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).


a typical or ideal example

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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!