Meaning of rub

rub

Pronunciation: (rub), [key]
— v., n. rubbed, rub•bing,
—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. 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. to rub a chair down with sandpaper.
    1. to smooth off, polish, or apply a coating to:to rub a chair down with sandpaper.
    2. to give a massage to.
  6. to emphasize or reiterate something unpleasant in order to tease or annoy: The situation was embarrassing enough without having you rub it in.
  7. to become transferred or communicated to by example or association: Some of his good luck must have rubbed off on me.
  8. They rubbed him out before he could get to the police.
    1. to obliterate; erase.
    2. Slang.to murder:They rubbed him out before he could get to the police.
  9. to irritate; offend; annoy: a manner that seemed to rub everyone the wrong way.
  10. 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.
See also:
  • rub (Thesaurus)