/rub/, v., rubbed, rubbing, n.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).v.i.7. to exert pressure and friction on something.8. to move with pressure against something.9. to admit of being rubbed in a specified manner: Chalk rubs off easily.10. Chiefly Brit. 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.11. rub down,a. to smooth off, polish, or apply a coating to: to rub a chair down with sandpaper.b. to give a massage to.12. rub it in, Informal. to emphasize or reiterate something unpleasant in order to tease or annoy: The situation was embarrassing enough without having you rub it in.13. rub off on, to become transferred or communicated to by example or association: Some of his good luck must have rubbed off on me.14. rub out,a. to obliterate; erase.b. Slang. to murder: They rubbed him out before he could get to the police.15. rub the wrong way, to irritate; offend; annoy: a manner that seemed to rub everyone the wrong way.n.17. an act or instance of rubbing: an alcohol rub.18. 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.19. an annoying experience or circumstance.20. an obstacle, impediment, or difficulty: We'd like to travel, but the rub is that we have no money.21. a rough or abraded area caused by rubbing.[1300-50; 1860-65 for def. 14b; ME rubben (v.); c. Fris rubben, Dan rubbe, Sw rubba]Syn. 20. hitch, catch, thing, trouble, pinch.
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