rub out


rubbed out; rubbing out; rubs out

transitive verb

: to obliterate by or as if by rubbing
: to destroy completely
specifically : kill, murder
somebody rubbed him out … with a twenty-two Raymond Chandler
rubout 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 Each wipe comes pre-soaked in Shout stain fighter and is designed with a textured surface that creates extra friction to rub out stains. Katherine Alex Beaven, Travel + Leisure, 27 Nov. 2023 Apply additional pressure while attempting to rub out these stains, but don't go crazy. Gia Yetikyel, Vogue, 3 Nov. 2023 Leach, subsequently dealt from the Seals to the Flyers in May 1974, won the Cup with the Broad Streeters in ‘75 and amassed his 19 the following spring, when they were rubbed out by the Canadiens, 4-0, in the Cup Final. Kevin Paul Dupont,, 13 May 2023 The Penguins were rubbed out easily Tuesday night by the resurgent Devils, 5-1, a dispiriting loss that dipped them 1 point out of a wild-card spot behind the Panthers and Islanders. Kevin Paul Dupont,, 8 Apr. 2023 But church officials warn that secularization more than anything led them to rub out the godparents, a Sicilian thing that’s been going on for 2,000 years, or at least since the church’s dicey first days, when sponsors known to bishops vouched for converts to prevent pagan infiltration. New York Times, 16 Oct. 2021 The resort can arrange a local masseuse to rub out all that daring inside the comfort of your cabin. Rina Nehdar, Travel + Leisure, 4 Mar. 2022 The man, Eric Charles Maund, whose family runs Volkswagen and Toyota dealerships in and around Austin, is alleged to have hired the trio to rub out Holly Williams, 33, and William Lanway, 36, in March 2020, police and prosecutors said. NBC News, 13 Dec. 2021 His mission, ostensibly, is to retrieve the sword and rub out Akemi, who’s just turned 21 and unknowingly inherited the Kawa crime family empire. Richard Kuipers, Variety, 30 Aug. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rub out.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near rub out

Cite this Entry

“Rub out.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

rub out

: to remove by or as if by erasing
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