• To move (one object) while maintaining contact with another object over some area, with pressure and friction.
  • To rub something against (a second thing).
  • To be rubbed against something.
  • To spread a substance thinly over; to smear.
  • To move or pass with difficulty.
  • To scour; to burnish; to polish; to brighten; to cleanse; often with up or over.
  • To hinder; to cross; to thwart.
  • To touch the jack with the bowl.


Similar words


  • From Middle English rubben, possibly from Low German rubben, rubbeling or Saterland Frisian rubben. Or, of North Germanic origin, such as Swedish rubba ("to move, scrub"), all from Proto-Germanic *reufanÄ… ("to tear").
  • Cognate with Saterland Frisian rubje, German Low German rubben, Low German rubblig, Dutch robben, rubben, Danish rubbe, Icelandic and Norwegian rubba.

Modern English dictionary

Explore and search massive catalog of over 900,000 word meanings.

Word of the Day

Get a curated memorable word every day.

Challenge yourself

Level up your vocabulary by setting personal goals.

And much more

Try out Vedaist now.