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

guru

a religious leader or teacher in the Hindu or Sikh religion

Word of the Day

The way we move (Verbs for walking and running)

by Kate Woodford,
March 25, 2015
​​​ This week we’re looking at interesting ways to describe the way that people move. Most of the verbs that we’ll be considering describe how fast or slow people move. Others describe the attitude or state of mind of the person walking or running. Some describe both. Starting with verbs for walking slowly,

Read More 

crossfit noun

March 23, 2015
high-intensity strength training Two women in strappy dresses discussed how much weight they could snatch

Read More