Rub definition

rŭb
A difficulty or obstacle.
noun
6
2
To move (an object or objects) firmly along a surface, especially repeatedly.

Rub an eraser over the blackboard; rubbed my fingers over the sore spot.

verb
3
1
To cause to become worn, chafed, or irritated.
verb
2
0
To remove, erase, or expunge.

Rub away a stain; rubbed the sleep from my eyes.

verb
2
0
Rub is defined as to use your hand to apply pressure and friction in a circular motion, or to move one thing against another.

An example of to rub is getting a back massage.

An example of to rub is to have two things move against each other with pressure, such as a horse and a saddle.

verb
0
0
Advertisement
To move along in contact with a surface; graze or scrape.
verb
0
0
To be transferred or removed by contact or proximity.

Newsprint that rubbed off on my fingers; wished some of her luck would rub off on me.

verb
0
0
To exert pressure or friction on something.
verb
0
0
To wear or chafe with friction.

My shoes were beginning to rub.

verb
0
0
To cause irritation or annoyance.
verb
0
0
Advertisement
The act of rubbing.
noun
0
0
The application of friction and pressure.

A back rub.

noun
0
0
A substance or preparation applied by rubbing, especially:
  • A liniment or balm.
  • A seasoning made of ground spices and herbs, applied to the surface of meat, fish, or vegetables before cooking.
noun
0
0
An unevenness on a surface.
noun
0
0
An act or remark that annoys or hurts another.
noun
0
0
Advertisement
To move one's hand, a cloth, etc. over (a surface or object) with pressure and friction, in a circular or back-and-forth motion.
verb
0
0
To move (one's hand, a cloth, etc.) over, or spread or apply (polish, etc.) on or over, a surface or object in this way.
verb
0
0
To move (a thing) against something else, or move (things) over each other with pressure and friction.
verb
0
0
To apply pressure and friction to, for cleaning, polishing, smoothing, etc.
verb
0
0
To put into a specified condition by applying pressure and friction.

To rub oneself dry.

verb
0
0
Advertisement
To make sore or chafed by rubbing.
verb
0
0
To force, cause to go, etc. (in, into, etc.) by rubbing.
verb
0
0
To remove by rubbing (out, off, away, etc.)
verb
0
0
To move with pressure and friction (on, against, etc.)

The tire rubbing against the fender.

verb
0
0
To rub something; exert pressure and friction on something.
verb
0
0
Advertisement
To admit of being rubbed or removed by rubbing.
verb
0
0
To arouse anger or irritation.
verb
0
0
Figuratively, to be imparted, as through contact or influence.

Let's see if her teacher's manners will rub off.

verb
0
0
The act or an instance of rubbing; specif., a massage.
noun
0
0
An obstacle, hindrance, or difficulty.
noun
0
0
Advertisement
A place or spot that has been rubbed until rough or sore.
noun
0
0
Something that irritates, annoys, offends, etc., as a jeer or rebuke.
noun
0
0
A mixture of herbs and spices, a liquid ingredient such as oil, etc. applied by spreading on meat or fish prior to grilling, barbecuing, etc.
noun
0
0
initialism
0
0
To apply pressure and friction to (a surface).
verb
0
1
Advertisement
To clean, polish, or manipulate by the application of pressure and friction.
verb
0
1
To apply to a surface firmly and with friction.

Rub lotion on the hands; rub dye into the fabric.

verb
0
1
rub elbows
  • To mix or socialize closely:
    Diplomats rubbing elbows with heads of state.
idiom
0
0
rub (one's) hands
  • To experience or display pleased anticipation, self-satisfaction, or glee.
idiom
0
0
(slang) rub (someone's) nose in
  • To bring repeatedly and forcefully to another's attention.
idiom
0
0
Advertisement
rub (someone) the wrong way
  • To annoy; irritate:
idiom
0
0
rub up on
  • To refresh one's knowledge of:
    I have to rub up on my French.
idiom
0
0
rub along
  • to manage or keep going in spite of difficulties
idiom
0
0
rub down
  • to massage
  • to smooth, polish, wear down, etc. by rubbing
idiom
0
0
rub elbows with
  • to associate or mingle with (famous or prominent people, etc.)
idiom
0
0
Advertisement
rub it in
  • to keep on mentioning to someone his or her failure or mistake, often with some malice
idiom
0
0
rub off on
  • to be left on (something or someone) as a mark, as by rubbing or, figuratively, by personal contact or influence
idiom
0
0
rub out
  • to erase or be erased by rubbing
  • to kill or murder
idiom
0
0
rub the wrong way
  • to be annoying, irritating, etc. to
idiom
0
0

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
rub
Plural:
rubs

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Origin of rub

  • Middle English rubben

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition