Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “rub”

See all translations

rub

verb [I or T] uk   /rʌb/ (-bb-) us  
B2 to press or be pressed against something with a circular or up-and-down repeated movement: She yawned and rubbed her eyes sleepily. He rubbed (at) the stain on his trousers and made it worse. We rubbed some polish into the surface of the wood. She gently rubbed the ointment in. First rub the baking tray well with butter. [+ obj + adj ] Alice rubbed the blackboard clean for the teacher. Your cat keeps on rubbing itself (up) against my leg. She was rubbing her hands (together) at the thought of winning. The branches rubbed against each other in the wind. The chair legs have rubbed holes in the carpet. My new shoes are rubbing (against/on my toe) and now I've got blisters. These marks will never rub off (= be cleaned off). Alice rubbed the sums off (= cleaned them off) the blackboard for the teacher.
More examples

rub

noun [C] uk   /rʌb/ us  
the act of rubbing something: He gave her hair a good rub to dry it.
Idioms
Translations of “rub”
in Korean 비비다, 문지르다…
in Arabic يُدَلِّك…
in French frotter…
in Turkish ovmak, ovalamak, ovuşturmak…
in Italian strofinare, sfregare…
in Chinese (Traditional) 擦, 摩擦, 搓…
in Russian тереть, натирать, стирать (кожу)…
in Polish pocierać, trzeć, ocierać (o)…
in Spanish restregar, frotar…
in Portuguese esfregar…
in German reiben…
in Catalan fregar…
in Japanese ~をこする, (布で)ふく…
in Chinese (Simplified) 擦, 摩擦, 搓…
(Definition of rub from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of rub?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “rub” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

piglet

a baby pig

Word of the Day

I won’t tolerate it! Replacing formal words with phrasal verbs.

by Liz Walter,
April 01, 2015
When you are using a language, it is important to understand if a word is formal or informal, so that you can use it in an appropriate way. You might hear people saying dosh for money, or spud for potato, but they wouldn’t write those words in a formal essay. Similarly, a

Read More 

stackin’ p

March 30, 2015
idiom slang earning a lot of money ‘That’s a very generous present.”Yeah, well, she’s stackin’ p, innit?’

Read More