rub up


rubbed up; rubbing up; rubs up

transitive verb

: to revive or refresh knowledge of : recall
: to improve the keenness of (a mental faculty)

Examples of rub up in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The comical tone rubs up, often awkwardly, against the more serious themes the film introduces about repression and misogyny. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2019 Freshman players had to rub up against the line of men to get to their showers, according to the suit. Alejandra Molina, Los Angeles Times, 10 Aug. 2023 In that extreme environment, the largest and smallest things in the universe rub up against one another. Adam Mann, Scientific American, 22 June 2023 According to The New York Times, bears rub up against objects like trees to communicate using scent, remove hair and itch themselves, and possibly, to use resin and sap as a natural tick repellent. Sage Marshall, Field & Stream, 14 June 2023 And the hallways are wider, as women during the bygone era had large dresses and needed to pass each other without rubbing up against each other. Allyson Portee, Forbes, 2 May 2023 The decision to sell is not an easy one for people caught up in FTX and other crypto bankruptcies, whose desire to close out a painful chapter rubs up against a determination to avoid being taken advantage of twice over. WIRED, 30 Mar. 2023 Complete, utter silence, except for the hum of generators and the swish of winter coats rubbing up against each other as those wearing them hugged. David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, 16 Feb. 2023 The image sparked something, the blurry, second-hand details rubbing up against a burial site inside me. Hazlitt, 7 Dec. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rub up.' 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

circa 1571, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of rub up was circa 1571

Dictionary Entries Near rub up

Cite this Entry

“Rub up.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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