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."

Example Sentences

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 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 The Trojans might have found something during Williams’ first game as coach, as USC scored 38 second-half point to drub Washington State. oregonlive, 21 Sep. 2021 Baylor inched one step closer to cutting down the nets as the best team in the sport, riding Butler's hot shooting to drub Houston 78-59 and reach the men's national championship game. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, 3 Apr. 2021 Kevin Brown gives up five runs on five hits in the second inning and the San Francisco Giants go on to drub the Dodgers 9-2 on opening day. John Scheibe, Los Angeles Times, 2 Apr. 2020 Some Fox personalities quickly drubbed Mr. Barr for crossing the president. Katie Benner, New York Times, 13 Feb. 2020 The Scots have responded by beating Samoa 34-0 and then drubbing Russia, with 95 points scored and none conceded in their last two games. San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Oct. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'drub.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 28 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on drub

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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