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From Middle English rubben. Cognate with Saterland Frisian rubje (“to rub, scrape”), German Low German rubben (“to rub”), Low German rubblig (“rough, uneven”), Dutch robben, rubben (“to rub smooth; scrape; scrub”), Danish rubbe (“to rub, scrub”), Icelandic and Norwegian rubba (“to scrape”).
- (UK) IPA(key): /ɹʌb/, [ɹɐb], enPR: rŭb
- (US) IPA(key): /ɹʌb/, enPR: rŭb
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ʌb
rub (plural rubs)
- An act of rubbing.
- Give that lamp a good rub and see if any genies come out
- A difficulty or problem.
- Therein lies the rub.
- 1594, William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark III.i.71-75
- To die, to sleep—/To sleep—perchance to dream. Ay, there's the rub!/For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,/When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,/Must give us pause
1922 February, James Joyce, “[[Episode 16]]”, in Ulysses, Paris: Shakespeare & Co.; Sylvia Beach, OCLC 560090630; republished London: Published for the Egoist Press, London by John Rodker, Paris, October 1922, OCLC 2297483:
- […] the propriety of the cabman's shelter, as it was called, hardly a stonesthrow away near Butt bridge where they might hit upon some drinkables in the shape of a milk and soda or a mineral. But how to get there was the rub.
- In the game of crown green bowls: any obstacle by which a bowl is diverted from its normal course.
- Any substance designed to be applied by rubbing.
- a heat rub intended for muscular strains
- (transitive) To move (one object) while maintaining contact with another object over some area, with pressure and friction.
1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 7, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
- “[…] This is Mr. Churchill, who, as you are aware, is good enough to come to us for his diaconate, and, as we hope, for much longer; and being a gentleman of independent means, he declines to take any payment.” Saying this Walden rubbed his hands together and smiled contentedly.
I rubbed the cloth over the glass.
The cat rubbed itself against my leg.
I rubbed my hands together for warmth.
- (transitive) To rub something against (a second thing).
I rubbed the glass with the cloth.
- Sir T. Elyot
- It shall be expedient, after that body is cleaned, to rub the body with a coarse linen cloth.
- (intransitive) To be rubbed against something.
My shoes are beginning to rub.
- (transitive) To spread a substance thinly over; to smear.
- meat rubbed with spices before barbecuing
- The smoothed plank, […] / New rubbed with balm.
- (dated) To move or pass with difficulty.
to rub through woods, as huntsmen
- To scour; to burnish; to polish; to brighten; to cleanse; often with up or over.
- to rub up silver
- The whole business of our redemption is to rub over the defaced copy of the creation.
- To hinder; to cross; to thwart.
- 'Tis the duke's pleasure, / Whose disposition, all the world well knows, / Will not be rubbed nor stopped.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
- rub in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- rub in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- rub at OneLook Dictionary Search
- back (the reverse side)
- rub karty -- back of the card
- rub mince -- reverse of the coin
- the other (often negative) aspect of a situation
- ^ rub in Jiří Rejzek, Český etymologický slovník, electronic version, Leda, 2007
rub m (genitive singular rub, plural rubbyn)
- to rub
rȗb m (Cyrillic spelling ру̑б)