rub out

rubbed out; rubbing out; rubs out

Definition of rub out

transitive verb

1 : to obliterate by or as if by rubbing
2 : to destroy completely specifically : kill, murder somebody rubbed him out … with a twenty-two — Raymond Chandler

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Other Words from rub out

rubout \ ˈrəb-​ˌau̇t How to pronounce rubout (audio) \ noun

Examples of rub out in a Sentence

aerial bombs rubbed out the oil refinery an elaborate setup to rub out rival mobsters

Recent Examples on the Web

His vision started blacking in from all sides like it was being rubbed out with an eraser. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "This Pro Skydiver Was Invincible—Until his Heart Stopped Beating Regularly," 22 June 2018 Well, not really all that impressive since Putin effectively wiped out (or rubbed out) any serious opposition. Author: Cal Thomas | Opinion, Anchorage Daily News, "The Russian (S)election," 22 Mar. 2018 Coping Mechanism: Guidance from his partner ( Brendan Gleeson ), who soaks up the art and architecture of the medieval town before getting the order to rub out his young protégé. John Jurgensen, WSJ, "‘Barry’ Joins a Long Line of Sensitive Assassins," 21 Mar. 2018 The poison in question has spattered from the tips of African weapons for centuries, rubbing out wild beasts and halting the hearts of warriors. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Poison arrows inspire new male contraceptive, scientists report," 21 Jan. 2018 The European Union dropped a strong hint on Wednesday of what its Brexit strategy might be: force Theresa May to rub out her red lines and keep Britain as close to the bloc as possible., "Brexit Bulletin: Pushing Evolution," 8 Mar. 2018 Any slight excess can be wet sanded down and then rubbed out. Paul Wright, Popular Mechanics, "How to Repair Car Paint Chips," 26 Feb. 2018

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

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First Known Use of rub out

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near rub out


rub off

rub of the green

rub out

rub rail



Statistics for rub out

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Time Traveler for rub out

The first known use of rub out was in the 15th century

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More from Merriam-Webster on rub out

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rub out

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rub out

Comments on rub out

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


to take the place or position of

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