drubbed; drubbing

transitive verb

: to beat severely
: to berate critically
: to defeat decisively
drubber noun
drubbing noun

Did you know?

Sportswriters often use drub, but the term's history reveals that it wasn't always a sporting word. When drub was first used in English, it referred to a method of punishment that involved beating the soles of a culprit's feet with a stick or cudgel. The term was apparently brought to England in the 17th century by travelers who reported observing the punitive practice in Asia. The ultimate origin of drub is uncertain, but some etymologists have speculated that it may have evolved from the Arabic word ḍaraba, meaning "to beat."

Examples of drub in a Sentence

a crowd was drubbing the purse snatcher when the police arrived on the scene we drubbed our traditional football rivals so badly that it was basically no contest
Recent Examples on the Web Fox News also continues drubbing CNN in the ratings. Erik Wemple, Washington Post, 7 June 2023 In the next round of the Open Cup, which was played on Wednesday night at Protective Stadium, Birmingham Legion FC drubbed Memphis 3-0. I’m often asked about the possibility of Birmingham Legion FC making the jump to Major League Soccer. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, 26 Jan. 2023 One of the primary reasons the Celtics were drubbed Monday at Madison Square Garden was the season-worst 3-point shooting performance. Gary Washburn, BostonGlobe.com, 28 Feb. 2023 He was drubbed by Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla, who raised nearly $12 million. Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Feb. 2023 Read full article Those moves happened while the Rangers were in the midst of getting drubbed, 6-3, by the division rival Capitals, with the background distractions creeping into New York’s play. Stephen Whyno, BostonGlobe.com, 25 Feb. 2023 The current Sockers are in first place, of course, and favored to drub the Dallas Sidekicks in the 7:05 p.m match at Pechanga Arena. San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Mar. 2023 Bass took advantage of the new political landscape to drub her rival, notching a nearly 10-percentage-point margin. Los Angeles Times, 25 Nov. 2022 This isn’t the first time Kansas completely morphed in the second half this tournament, having trailed Miami (Fla.) by six in the first half of the Sweet 16 and then coming back to drub the Hurricanes by 26. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, 5 Apr. 2022

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

Word History


perhaps from Arabic ḍaraba

First Known Use

1634, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of drub was in 1634


Dictionary Entries Near drub

Cite this Entry

“Drub.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drub. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


drubbed; drubbing
: to beat severely
: to defeat completely
drubbed her opponent in the tennis match

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