American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To apply pressure and friction to (a surface).
- v. To clean, polish, or manipulate by the application of pressure and friction.
- v. To apply to a surface firmly and with friction: rub lotion on the hands; rub dye into the fabric.
- v. 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.
- v. To cause to become worn, chafed, or irritated.
- v. To remove, erase, or expunge: rub away a stain; rubbed the sleep from my eyes.
- v. To exert pressure or friction on something.
- v. To wear or chafe with friction: My shoes were beginning to rub.
- v. To cause irritation or annoyance.
- v. To move along in contact with a surface; graze or scrape.
- v. 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.
- n. The act of rubbing.
- n. The application of friction and pressure: a back rub.
- n. A substance or preparation applied by rubbing, especially:
- n. A liniment or balm.
- n. A seasoning made of ground spices and herbs, applied to the surface of meat, fish, or vegetables before cooking.
- n. An unevenness on a surface.
- n. An act or remark that annoys or hurts another.
- n. A difficulty or obstacle: "The rub for extraterrestrial life on Europa is that the moon's surface is an icy wasteland” ( William J. Broad).
- rub down To perform a brisk rubbing of the body, as in massage.
- rub in To harp on (an unpleasant matter).
- rub out To obliterate by or as if by rubbing.
- rub out Slang To kill; murder.
- idiom. elbows To mix or socialize closely: diplomats rubbing elbows with heads of state.
- idiom. rub (one's) hands To experience or display pleased anticipation, self-satisfaction, or glee.
- idiom. rub (someone's) nose in Slang To bring repeatedly and forcefully to another's attention.
- idiom. rub (someone) the wrong way To annoy; irritate: "One can see . . . how [his] expression of his ideals and intentions must have rubbed many people the wrong way” ( Christopher Lehmann-Haupt).
- idiom. rub up on To refresh one's knowledge of: I have to rub up on my French.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To apply pressure with motion to the surface of; apply friction to by chafing or fretting with something else: as, to rub the face with a towel; to rub one hand with the other.
- To smooth, polish, clean, or coat by means of friction or frictional applications: as, to rub brasses or silver; to rub a floor; to rub furniture.
- To treat, act upon, or remove by frictional pressure; act with or upon by friction: with out, off, in, etc.: as, to rub out marks, spots, or stains; to rub off rust; to rub in a liniment; to rub up an ointment in a mortar.
- To take an impression of by friction; apply frictional pressure to, as an engraved or sculptured figure or inscription, for the purpose of copying. See rubbing, 2.
- Figuratively, to affect in any way as if by frictional contact or pressure; furbish; fret: as, to rub (usually rub up) one's memory; to rub one the wrong way. See phrases below.
- To cause to move over another body with friction: as, to rub one's hand over a mirror.
- To reduce or bring to smaller dimensions by friction; smooth or render less prominent by rubbing.
- To spread by rubbing; diffuse over a surface with a rubbing instrument: as, to rub out paint.
- To blend or otherwise prepare by trituration: as, to rub up an ointment.
- To awaken or excite by effort; rouse; freshen: as, to rub up the memory.
- To move or act with friction; exert frictional pressure in moving: as, to rub against or along something.
- Figuratively, to proceed with friction or collision; do anything with more or less effort or difficulty: commonly with on, along, through, etc.
- In the old game of bowls, to touch or graze the jack or another ball with the bowl or played ball.
- n. An act or the action of rubbing; an application or occurrence of frictional contact: as, to take a rub with a towel; to give something a rub.
- n. A metaphorical rubbing or chafing; an irritating or disturbing act or expression; interference; affront; sarcasm, gibe, or the like.
- n. That which opposes or checks, as if from friction; any chafing or disturbing circumstance or predicament; an impediment, embarrassment, or stumbling-block; a pinch.
- n. An unevenness of surface or character; a roughness or inequality; an imperfection; a flaw; a fault.
- n. Inequality of the ground in a bowlinggreen.
- n. In card-playing, same as rubber, 6.
- n. A rubstone.
- In needle-making, to straighten (a wire or needle) by rolling (it) while hot.—
- n. An act of rubbing.
- n. A difficulty or problem.
- n. In the game of crown green bowls: any obstacle by which a bowl is diverted from its normal course.
- n. A mixture of spices applied to meat before it is barbecued.
- v. To move one object while maintaining contact with another object over some area.
- v. To rub something against.
- v. To rub against something.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To subject (a body) to the action of something moving over its surface with pressure and friction, especially to the action of something moving back and forth.
- v. To move over the surface of (a body) with pressure and friction; to graze; to chafe.
- v. To cause (a body) to move with pressure and friction along a surface.
- v. To spread a substance thinly over; to smear.
- v. To scour; to burnish; to polish; to brighten; to cleanse; -- often with
- v. rare To hinder; to cross; to thwart.
- v. To move along the surface of a body with pressure; to grate.
- v. To fret; to chafe.
- v. To move or pass with difficulty.
- n. The act of rubbing; friction.
- n. That which rubs; that which tends to hinder or obstruct motion or progress; hindrance; obstruction, an impediment; especially, a difficulty or obstruction hard to overcome; a pinch.
- n. Inequality of surface, as of the ground in the game of bowls; unevenness.
- n. Something grating to the feelings; sarcasm; joke.
- n. obsolete Imperfection; failing; fault.
- n. obsolete A chance.
- n. A stone, commonly flat, used to sharpen cutting tools; a whetstone; -- called also
- n. an unforeseen obstacle
- v. move over something with pressure
- v. cause friction
- n. the act of rubbing or wiping
- v. scrape or rub as if to relieve itching
- From Middle English rubben. Cognate with Saterland Frisian rubje ("to rub, scrape"), Low German rubblig ("rough, uneven"), Icelandic and Norwegian rubba ("to scrape"), Danish rubbe ("to rub, scrub"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English rubben. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The only disagreeable part of the process was when we came to rub noses with Mahine, and Peterkin afterwards said that when he saw his wolfish eyes glaring so close to his face, he felt much more inclined to _bang_ than to _rub_ his nose.”
“The only disagreeable part of the process was when we came to rub noses with Mahine; and Peterkin afterwards said that when he saw his wolfish eyes glaring so close to his face, he felt much more inclined to _bang_ than to _rub_ his nose.”
“II. iii.128 (180, l) [rub your chain with crums] I suppose it should be read, _rub your_ chin _with crums_, alluding to what had been said before that.”
“Obama:" You got a little somethin 'on your forehead, Joe "* rub rub*”
“Black jacket guy touch chest: you so cute and adorable baby awww * rub and rub*”
“When visibly Antiseptic hand rub Alcohol-based hand rub±”
“Torre has taken the Yankees to the postseason every year since he became manager in 1996, won four of six World Series beginning in 1996, but the rub is they haven't won since 2000 and haven't been there since 2003.”
“When I got hired I started in what they called the rub room — rub and pack.”
“The rub is that Obama's ally, Afghan president Hamid Karzai, and his half-brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, preside over a massively corrupt government and show no evidence of willingness to reform it.”
“The rub is that we have read that, although maps show the entire road as open, parts of the way we plan to go are not open yet, imagine that.”
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Words that form common phrases (or compound words) when followed by the word "up", and also when followed by the word "down".
For example, "show" forms "show up" and "showdown".
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For I will...
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