from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To dig up by or as if by the roots: grubbed carrots with a stick.
  • transitive v. To clear of roots and stumps by digging: grubbed a small plot.
  • transitive v. Slang To obtain by importunity: grub a cigarette.
  • intransitive v. To dig in the earth: grub for potatoes.
  • intransitive v. To search laboriously by or as if by digging; rummage.
  • intransitive v. To toil arduously; drudge: grub for a living.
  • n. The thick wormlike larva of certain beetles and other insects.
  • n. A drudge.
  • n. Slang Food.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An immature stage in the life cycle of an insect; a larva.
  • n. Food.
  • n. A short, thick man; a dwarf.
  • v. To scavenge or in some way scrounge, typically for food.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The larva of an insect, especially of a beetle; -- called also grubworm. See Illust. of Goldsmith beetle, under goldsmith.
  • n. A short, thick man; a dwarf.
  • n. Victuals; food.
  • intransitive v. To dig in or under the ground, generally for an object that is difficult to reach or extricate; to be occupied in digging.
  • intransitive v. To drudge; to do menial work.
  • transitive v. To dig; to dig up by the roots; to root out by digging; -- followed by up.
  • transitive v. To supply with food.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To dig in or under the ground; hence, to work hard in any way; especially, to make laborious research; search or study closely.
  • To eat; take a meal: as, it is time to grub.
  • To dig; dig up by the roots: frequently followed by up or out: as, to grub up shrubs or weeds.
  • To supply with food; provide with victuals.
  • n. The larva of an insect; especially, the larva of a beetle: as, the white-grub (the larva of Lachnosterna fusca). Also grubworm.
  • n. A short thick man; a dwarf: in contempt.
  • n. Something to eat; victuals; a provision of food (as the product of grubbing or hard work).
  • n. In cricket, a ball bowled along the ground. Also called, in the slang of cricket, sneaker and daisy-cutter.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. ask for and get free; be a parasite
  • n. informal terms for a meal
  • v. search about busily
  • n. a soft thick wormlike larva of certain beetles and other insects


Middle English grubben, from Old English *grybban; see ghrebh-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From hypothetical Old English root grubbian, from Proto-Germanic *grubbjan (compare Old High German grubilon "to dig, search," German grübeln "to meditate, ponder"), from Proto-Germanic *grub- (“to dig”). The noun sense of "larva" (c.1400) may derive from the notion of "digging insect" or from the possibly unrelated Middle English grub "dwarfish fellow." The slang sense of "food" is first recorded 1659, has been linked with birds eating grubs or with bub "drink." (Wiktionary)


  • I use the term grub in its broadest and most comprehensive sense.


  • Any my wife can't stop complaining about what I call my grub scrubs: an admittedly ill-fitting pair of shorts that are held together with a safety pin - three actually clipped together - a pair of purple, grass-stained Chuck Taylors and a wife-beater that no longer completely covers my mid-section.

    Lawrence Shulruff: Recessionary Crisis? How about mid-life crisis in a recession?

  • "It's food -- what you call grub," explained Hassan proudly.


  • Variety in the grub is a welcome to the men as nuggets.

    Housekeeping In The Klondike

  • "Remember, my last bit of grub is yours," he reassured her, still holding her hand.


  • Oh, I'm Del Bishop, pocket-miner; and if ever we run across each other, remember I'd give you the last shirt -- I mean, remember my last bit of grub is yours.


  • "But keepin 'grub back an hour ain't goin' to hurt none, I reckon."

    All Gold Cañon

  • I can take my medicine an 'lick the spoon, but three days' grub is drawin 'it a shade fine, that's all, an' I hereby register my kick.

    The Passing of Marcus O'Brien

  • But he crushed their aspirations with rough speech, peculiar for its strength and brevity, and bought a double supply of grub from the trading-post.

    The Sun of the Wolf

  • Yes, exactly the same port and baud rate as in grub and BIOS.

    Archive 2008-09-01


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  • "In cricket, a ball bowled along the ground. Also called, in the slang of cricket, sneaker and daisy-cutter." --CD&C

    January 30, 2012

  • My bootloader. :-)

    October 19, 2008

  • To: Dr., et al.
    Re: Grub
    Ma had a hamburger
    Later, Dot.

    October 18, 2008

  • "Grub, ho!" now cried the landlord, flinging open a door, and in we went to breakfast.

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 5

    July 23, 2008