Dictionary: RUB – RU'BI-FORM

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RUB, n.

  1. The act of rubbing; friction.
  2. That which renders motion or progress difficult; collision; hinderance; obstruction. Now every rub is smoothed in our way. Shak. Upon this rub the English ambassadors thought fit to demur. Hayward. All sort of rubs will be laid in the way. Davenant.
  3. Inequality of ground that hinders the motion of a bowl. Shak.
  4. Difficulty; cause of uneasiness; pinch. To sleep, perchance to dream; ay, there's the rub. Shak.
  5. Sarcasm; joke; something grating to the feelings.

RUB, or RUB'-STONE, n. [rub and stone.]

A stone, usually some kind of sandstone, used to sharpen instruments; a whetstone.

RUB, v.i.

  1. To move along the surface of a body with pressure; as, a wheel rubs against the gate-post.
  2. To fret; to chafe; as, to rub upon a sore. Dryden.
  3. To move or pass with difficulty; as, to rub through woods, as huntsmen; to rub through the world. Chapman. L'Estrange.

RUB, v.t. [W. rhwbiaw; D. wryven; G. reiben, to rub, to grate, also to upbraid; reibe, a grater. Qu. L. probrum, exprobro; Gr. τριβω, to rub. We have the elements of the word in scrape, scrub, L. scribo, Gr. γραφω. See Class Rb, No. 30.]

  1. To move something along the surface of a body with pressure; as, to rub the face or arms with the hand; to rub the body with flannel. Vessels are scoured or cleaned by rubbing them.
  2. To wipe; to clean; to scour; but rub is a generic term, applicable to friction for every purpose.
  3. To touch so as to leave behind something which touches; to spread over; as, to rub any thing with oil.
  4. To polish; to retouch; with over. The whole business of our redemption is to rub over the defaced copy of the creation. South.
  5. To obstruct by collision. [Unusual.] Shak. In popular language, rub is used for teasing, fretting, upbraiding, reproaching or vexing with gibes or sarcasms. To rub down, to clean by rubbing; to comb or curry, as a horse. Dryden. To rub off, to clean any thing by rubbing; to separate by friction; as, to rub off rust. To rub out, to erase; to obliterate; as, to rub out marks or letters. #2. To remove or separate by friction; as, to rub out a stain. To rub upon, to touch hard. Sidney. To rub up, to burnish; to polish; to clean. #2. To excite; to awaken; to rouse to action; as, to rub up the memory.


for Rubbish, vulgar and not used.

RUB'BED, pp.

Moved along the surface with a pressure; cleaned; polished.


  1. One that rubs.
  2. The instrument or thing used in rubbing or cleaning. Swift.
  3. A coarse file, or the rough part of it. Moxon.
  4. A whetstone; a rubstone.
  5. In gaming, two games out of three; or the game that decides the contest; or a contest consisting of three games. India rubber, caoutchouc, a substance produced from the Siphonia elastica of South America; a substance remarkably pliable and elastic. Encyc.


Act of rubbing, scouring, or polishing.

RUB'BING, ppr.

Moving along the surface with a pressure; chafing; scouring; polishing.

RUB'BISH, n. [from rub; properly, that which is rubbed off; but not now used in this limited sense.]

  1. Fragments of buildings; broken or imperfect pieces of any structure; ruins. He saw the towns one half in rubbish lie. Dryden.
  2. Waste or rejected matter; any thing worthless.
  3. Mingled mass; confusion. Arbuthnot.


Rough unhewn stone.

RU'BE-FA-CIENT, a. [L. rubefacio, infra.]

Making red.


In medicine, a substance or external application which produces redness of the skin.

RU'BEL-LITE, n. [from L. rubeus, red.]

A silicious mineral of a red color of various shades; the red shorl; siberite. It occurs in accumulated groups of a middle or large size, with straight tubular-like striae. In a red heat, it becomes snow-white and seems to phosphoresce. Kirwan. Rubellite is red tourmalin. Ure. Cyc.

RU-BE'O-LA, n.

The measles.

RU-BES'CENT, a. [L. rubescens, rubesco, from rubeo, to redden or to be red.]

Growing or becoming red; tending to a red color.

RU'BI-CAN, a. [Fr. from L. rubeo, to be red.]

Rubican color of a horse, is a bay, sorrel or black, with a light gray or white upon the flanks, but the gray or white not predominant there. Far. Dict.

RU'BI-CEL, n. [L. rubeo, to be red.]

A gem or mineral, a variety of ruby of a reddish color, from Brazil. Nicholson.


A small river which separated Italy from Cisalpine Gaul, the province allotted to Cesar. When Cesar crossed that stream he invaded Italy, with the intention of reducing it to his power. Hence the phrase, to pass the Rubicon, signifies to take a desperate step in an enterprise, or to adopt a measure from which one can not recede, or from which he is determined not to recede.

RU'BI-CUND, a. [L. rubicundus.]

Inclining to redness.


The state of being red; redness.

RU'BI-ED, a.

Red as a ruby; as, a rubied lip; rubied nectar. Milton.

RU-BIF'IC, a. [L. ruber and facio.]

Making red; as rubific rays.


The act of making red. Chimistry.

RU'BI-FORM, a. [L. ruber, red, and form.]

Having the form of red; as, the rubiform rays of the sun are least refrangible. Newton.