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

  • n. An open, flat-bottomed vessel, usually round and typically wider than it is deep, used for washing, packing, or storing.
  • n. The amount that such a vessel can hold.
  • n. The contents of such a vessel.
  • n. A bathtub.
  • n. Informal A bath taken in a bathtub.
  • n. Informal A wide, clumsy, slow-moving boat.
  • n. A bucket used for conveying ore or coal up a mine shaft.
  • n. A coal car used in a mine.
  • transitive v. To pack or store in a tub.
  • transitive v. To wash or bathe in a tub.
  • intransitive v. To take a bath.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A flat-bottomed vessel, of width similar to or greater than its height, used for storing or packing things, or for washing things in.
  • n. The contents or capacity of such a vessel.
  • n. A bathtub.
  • n. A slow-moving craft.
  • v. To pack or store something in a tub.
  • v. To bathe.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An open wooden vessel formed with staves, bottom, and hoops; a kind of short cask, half barrel, or firkin, usually with but one head, -- used for various purposes.
  • n. The amount which a tub contains, as a measure of quantity.
  • n. Any structure shaped like a tub: as, a certain old form of pulpit; a short, broad boat, etc., -- often used jocosely or opprobriously.
  • n. A sweating in a tub; a tub fast.
  • n. A small cask.
  • n. A box or bucket in which coal or ore is sent up a shaft; -- so called by miners.
  • intransitive v. To make use of a bathing tub; to lie or be in a bath; to bathe.
  • transitive v. To plant or set in a tub.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To plant or set in a tub: as, to tub plants.
  • To bathe in a tub or bath.
  • In mining, to line (a shaft) with a casing of wood or iron. See tubbing.
  • To bathe or wash the person in a bathing-tub; especially, in colloquial use, to take the morning bath.
  • To row in a tub; practise in a tub. See tub, n.
  • n.
  • n. An open wooden vessel made of staves, held together by hoops, surrounding a bottom: as, a wash-tub; a butter-tub; the tub in which the tow-line is coiled in a whale-boat.
  • n. The contents of a tub; as much as a tub will hold; as a measure of capacity, sometimes erroneously confounded with firkin.
  • n. Any wooden structure shaped like or resembling a tub.
  • n. A clumsy, slow boat or vessel: so called in contempt.
  • n. A boat used for practice-rowing.
  • n. A small cask for holding liquor, especially in the eighteenth century, and before the change in English revenue laws; such a cask in which brandy, gin, or the like was smuggled from the Continent.
  • n. A receptacle for water or other liquid for bathing the person. See bath-tub.
  • n. Hence, the act or process of bathing in a tub; specifically, a sponge-bath taken while standing in a tub.
  • n. Sweating in a heated tub, formerly the common mode of treatment of lues venerea. Compare powderiug-tub, 2.
  • n. In mining:
  • n. A bucket for raising ore from a mine.
  • n. A box, wagon, or tram for conveying coal from the working-face to the pit-bottom or gangway, or for underground haulage in general.
  • n. Same as keeve.
  • n. The top of a malt-kiln.
  • n. The gurnet.

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

  • n. the amount that a tub will hold
  • n. a relatively large open container that you fill with water and use to wash the body
  • n. a large open vessel for holding or storing liquids


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

Middle English, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German tubbe.



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  • 17C slang for pulpit, hence tub-thumper.

    May 15, 2018

  • In nautical jargon, an old, slow, or clumsy vessel.

    October 26, 2007