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Dictionary


rub



Pronunciation: (rub), [key]
v., rubbed, rub•bing,
n.


v.t.
1. to subject the surface of (a thing or person) to pressure and friction, as in cleaning, smoothing, polishing, coating, massaging, or soothing: to rub a table top with wax polish; to rub the entire back area.
2. to move (something) back and forth or with a rotary motion, as against or along another surface: to rub the cloth over the glass pane.
3. to spread or apply (something) with pressure and friction over something else or a person: to rub lotion on her chapped hands.
4. to move (two things) with pressure and friction over or back and forth over each other (often fol. by together): He rubbed his hands together.
5. to mark, polish, force, move, etc. (something) by pressure and friction (often fol. by over, in, or into).
6. to remove by pressure and friction; erase (often fol. by off or out).

v.i.
1. to exert pressure and friction on something.
2. to move with pressure against something.
3. to admit of being rubbed in a specified manner: Chalk rubs off easily.
4. Chiefly Brit.to proceed, continue in a course, or keep going with effort or difficulty (usually fol. by on, along, or through): He manages to rub along.
5. rub down,
a. to smooth off, polish, or apply a coating to: to rub a chair down with sandpaper.
b. to give a massage to.
6. rub it in, Informal.to emphasize or reiterate something unpleasant in order to tease or annoy: The situation was embarrassing enough without having you rub it in.
7. rub off on, to become transferred or communicated to by example or association: Some of his good luck must have rubbed off on me.
8. rub out,
a. to obliterate; erase.
b. Slang.to murder: They rubbed him out before he could get to the police.
9. rub the wrong way, to irritate; offend; annoy: a manner that seemed to rub everyone the wrong way.
10. rub up, Brit. Informal.to refresh one's memory of (a subject, language, etc.).

n.
1. an act or instance of rubbing: an alcohol rub.
2. something that annoys or irritates one's feelings, as a sharp criticism, a sarcastic remark, or the like: to resent rubs concerning one's character.
3. an annoying experience or circumstance.
4. an obstacle, impediment, or difficulty: We'd like to travel, but the rub is that we have no money.
5. a rough or abraded area caused by rubbing.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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See also:
  • rub (Thesaurus)

 

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