Definition for RUB

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.

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