rub

verb
\ ˈrəb How to pronounce rub (audio) \
rubbed; rubbing

Definition of rub

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to move along the surface of a body with pressure : grate
b(1) : to fret or chafe with or as if with friction
(2) : to cause discontent, irritation, or anger
2 : to continue in a situation usually with slight difficulty in spite of financial difficulties, he is rubbing along
3 : to admit of being rubbed (as for erasure or obliteration)

transitive verb

1a : to subject to or as if to the action of something moving especially back and forth with pressure and friction
b(1) : to cause (a body) to move with pressure and friction along a surface
(2) : to treat in any of various ways by rubbing
c : to bring into reciprocal back-and-forth or rotary contact
rub elbows or rub shoulders
: to associate closely : mingle
rub one's nose in
: to bring forcefully or repeatedly to one's attention
rub the wrong way

rub

noun

Definition of rub (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : an unevenness of surface (as of the ground in lawn bowling)
b : obstruction, difficulty the rub is that so few of the scholars have any sense of this truth themselves— Benjamin Farrington
c : something grating to the feelings (such as a gibe or harsh criticism)
d : something that mars serenity
2 : the application of friction with pressure an alcohol rub
3 US : a combination of spices that is rubbed into the surface of meat before the meat is cooked used a dry rub on the pork ribs

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Examples of rub in a Sentence

Verb Could you rub my shoulders? He blinked and rubbed his eyes. The cat rubbed itself against my leg. The cat rubbed against my leg. Don't rub too hard or you'll tear the paper. He rubbed his hands with glee. There was a squeak when the boards rubbed together. The back of my shoe is rubbing against my heel and giving me a blister. There are marks where the chair has rubbed against the wall. There are marks where the chair has been rubbing the wall. Noun She's an amazing cook, but she rarely has time to make meals. There's the rub. He used his favorite rub on the steaks. a dry rub for chicken
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The light and durable backpack cooler is finished off with cushioned, padded shoulder straps that won't rub your skin or become uncomfortable even after a long day of hiking. Amy Schulman, PEOPLE.com, 14 July 2021 And then the 6-foot-2, 220-pound officer got physical with her, touching her lower back, chest bumping her, and trying to caress and rub her shoulders. Marc Freeman, sun-sentinel.com, 13 July 2021 Twist and rub the basil leaves in your hands to muddle before dropping them into the glass. Sharyn Jackson, Star Tribune, 9 July 2021 Whittaker’s team has focused on preen oil, which birds secrete from a gland at the base of the tail and rub onto their feathers. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, 7 July 2021 The hardest part was formulating the sauces and rub for consumers and finding a bottler that would do small batches. Amy Shoenthal, Forbes, 29 June 2021 Apply rub all over lamb chops, coating the meat evenly. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, 23 June 2021 To rub salt in the wound, a massive explosion in Beirut last summer devastated parts of the city where hundreds of homes of Lebanon’s older Christian population stood, temporarily or permanently displacing them. Sarah El Deeb, ajc, 22 June 2021 The ability to rub your pet behind the ears seems an essential part of the design. Chelsea Leah, Wired, 14 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The rub is that today, investors are paying far higher prices for future superstars than in the past. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 8 July 2021 The rub, of course, is that football hasn’t truly come home since England last won the World Cup in 1966. Mark Landler, New York Times, 6 July 2021 The rub is that a car provides a point-to-point form of transit, while a bus or subway typically does not. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 28 June 2021 The rub on the letter is that many of those who signed it are supporters of former Treasurer Josh Mandel, another sign that the GOP Senate race probably isn’t going to get more collegial any time soon. cleveland, 25 May 2021 When choosing a rub, look for peppers and sugar in the ingredients and opt for one with thicker granules for the best, most flavorful rim. Karla Alindahao, Forbes, 28 June 2021 The meat gets a rub of garlic, ginger, turmeric, chile powder and tandoori spice blend. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, 23 June 2021 The new arrivals will soon begin training through positive reinforcement — a fish, a tongue rub or a fun toy to play with — to voluntarily assist in research. Pat Eaton-robb, courant.com, 18 June 2021 Not this sort of success, anyway, the success that relies on an alignment of the stars and the rub of the green and the minutiae of countless little moments. New York Times, 29 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rub.' 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

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun

1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for rub

Verb

Middle English rubben; akin to East Frisian rubben to rub, scrape, Icelandic rubba to scrape

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Learn More About rub

Time Traveler for rub

Time Traveler

The first known use of rub was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near rub

Ruashid

rub

rub-a-dub

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Statistics for rub

Last Updated

20 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rub.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rub. Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for rub

rub

verb

English Language Learners Definition of rub

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move something (such as your hand or an object) back and forth along the surface of (something) while pressing
: to move (two things) back and forth against each other
: to move back and forth many times against something in a way that causes pain or damage

rub

noun

English Language Learners Definition of rub (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of rubbing a surface with your hands or an object
formal : something that causes a difficulty or problem
US : a combination of spices that is rubbed into the surface of meat before the meat is cooked

rub

verb
\ ˈrəb How to pronounce rub (audio) \
rubbed; rubbing

Kids Definition of rub

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to move along the surface of something with pressure Kitty rubbed against my legs.
2 : to move back and forth against something in a way that causes pain or damage The back of my shoe is rubbing against my heel.
3 : to scour, polish, or smear by pressure and friction He rubbed oil on the wood.
rub elbows with
: to meet and talk with in a friendly way Stink got to rub elbows with the president …— Megan McDonald, Judy Moody
rub in
: to keep reminding someone of (something unpleasant) I know I looked silly. Don't rub it in.
rub off
: to come off a surface and often stick to another surface by rubbing The ink rubbed off on my fingers.
rub the wrong way
: to cause to be angry : irritate

rub

noun

Kids Definition of rub (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of rubbing a back rub
2 : something that causes a problem

rub

noun
\ ˈrəb How to pronounce rub (audio) \

Medical Definition of rub

1 : the application of friction with pressure an alcohol rub
2 : a sound heard in auscultation that is produced by the friction of one structure moving against another

More from Merriam-Webster on rub

Nglish: Translation of rub for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rub for Arabic Speakers

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