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

In one frame, two balloon-like objects shaped like boobs are rubbing against each other. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "10 Signs Miley Cyrus's "Mother's Daughter" Is the Ultimate Feminist Anthem," 2 July 2019 Also called hidden psoriasis, this painful type of psoriasis—an inflammatory condition that occurs when your skin cells multiply too quickly—appears in places on the body where the skin rubs against skin or where the skin tends to stay sweaty. Lambeth Hochwald, Health.com, "What is Inverse Psoriasis—and What’s the Best Way to Treat It?," 27 June 2019 Pruning corrects branches crossed or rubbing against each other, are dead or exhibiting errant growth. Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Indianapolis Star, "The Hoosier Gardener: Some plants hard to find this spring," 13 June 2019 Wet clothing rubbing against your skin can be a recipe for rash and blister. oregonlive.com, "10 running tips for surviving Portland’s heatwave," 10 June 2019 The report also alleges Walk forcibly tried to kiss one female employee and rubbed his genitals against her during a business dinner. Fox News, "NBC News chief Andy Lack protected high-profile male talent accused of sexual misconduct: report," 22 Sep. 2018 Among Kornak’s first projects would be to collect grizzly hair samples off trees or anything else the bears might rub their fur against. Author: Marwa Eltagouri, Anchorage Daily News, "Mauled in the woods in Montana, a grizzly bear researcher walks two miles with a fractured skull for help," 25 May 2018 Among Kornak's first projects would be to collect grizzly hair samples off trees or anything else the bears might rub their fur against. Marwa, chicagotribune.com, "Mauled in the Montana woods, grizzly bear researcher walks miles with a fractured skull for help," 24 May 2018 One of her first projects was to collect grizzly bear hair samples from objects the animals rub against. Cydney Henderson, azcentral, "Woman mauled by bear on 'dream job' walked miles with fractured skull to find help," 24 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Sometimes, Lambert said, there were back rubs and massages. Dylan Segelbaum, USA TODAY, "Former Pa. scoutmaster, citizen of the year focus of inquiry into decades of sex abuse," 28 Aug. 2019 The company also began selling bacon rubs and gourmet stone-ground grits. Lily Jackson | Ljackson@al.com, al, "Southern foodie Erika Barrett brings her first restaurant home to Mobile," 20 Aug. 2019 The mushrooms are treated to a dry rub and a vinegary sauce; smoking them twice ensures deep flavor and a lovely, enticing aroma. Bonnie S. Benwick, Washington Post, "Fire up your summer with recipes from the season’s new grilling cookbooks," 19 June 2019 As Taylor explains to Osborne, O. quadrata’s three main stomach teeth rub against each other to grind up food in the animal’s foregut. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Ghost Crabs Use Teeth in Their Stomachs to Ward Off Predators," 12 Sep. 2019 Chuck Blount explored the massive variety of spice rubs that are being made commercially right here in SA and gave you his Top 10 picks and how to use them. Emily Spicer, ExpressNews.com, "Podcast: Our favorite small-menu restaurants in San Antonio," 11 Sep. 2019 The rub: None of these devices are expected to look radically different from those released last year, per my CNN Business colleague Samantha Kelly. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Apple investors need its new iPhone to be a hit," 10 Sep. 2019 Brace your stomachs for this two-day affair that highlights all things spicy: jams, rubs, salsas and marinades. Darla Guillen Gilthorpe, Houston Chronicle, "2019's best fall festivals around Texas," 3 Sep. 2019 The measure represents a crucial fault-line in the welfare state, where the competing incentives of the health and social care systems rub against one another, says Jon Glasby, a social-care expert at the University of Birmingham. The Economist, "How the NHS got better at freeing up beds," 1 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for rub

Last Updated

16 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rub

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on rub

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rub

Spanish Central: Translation of rub

Nglish: Translation of rub for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rub for Arabic Speakers

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