- the thick-bodied, sluggish larva of several insects, as of a scarab beetle.
- a dull, plodding person; drudge.
- an unkempt person.
- Slang. food; victuals.
- any remaining roots or stumps after cutting vegetation to clear land for farming.
- to dig; clear of roots, stumps, etc.
- to dig up by the roots; uproot (often followed by up or out).
- Slang. to supply with food; feed.
- Slang. to scrounge: to grub a cigarette.
- to dig; search by or as if by digging: We grubbed through piles of old junk to find the deed.
- to lead a laborious or groveling life; drudge: It's wonderful to have money after having to grub for so many years.
- to engage in laborious study.
- Slang. to eat; take food.
Origin of grub
Examples from the Web for grubs
No; he does not sprinkle the vines with holy water to keep the grubs away.The Book of Khalid
This mushroom is especially free from grubs and it can be dried for winter use.The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise
M. E. Hard
These bolls will not drop, but the grubs ruin the cotton they contain.The Fabric of Civilization
The grubs rarely exceed three-quarters of an inch in length.Our Common Insects
Alpheus Spring Packard
Why wasn't she out scampering and running all the time, and hunting for grubs?A Young Mutineer
Mrs. L. T. Meade
- (when tr, often foll by up or out) to search for and pull up (roots, stumps, etc) by digging in the ground
- to dig up the surface of (ground, soil, etc), esp to clear away roots, stumps, etc
- (intr; often foll by in or among) to search carefully
- (intr) to work unceasingly, esp at a dull task or research
- slang to provide (a person) with food or (of a person) to take food
- (tr) slang, mainly US to scroungeto grub a cigarette
- the short legless larva of certain insects, esp beetles
- slang food; victuals
- a person who works hard, esp in a dull plodding way
- British informal a dirty child
Word Origin and History for grubs
c.1300, from hypothetical Old English *grubbian, from West Germanic *grubbjan (cf. Middle Dutch grobben, Old High German grubilon "to dig, search," German grübeln "to meditate, ponder"), from Proto-Germanic *grub- "to dig," base of Old English grafan (see grave (v.)).
"larva," early 15c., perhaps from grub (v.) on the notion of "digging insect," or from the possibly unrelated Middle English grub "dwarfish fellow" (c.1400). Meaning "dull drudge" is 1650s. The slang sense of "food" is first recorded 1650s, said to be from birds eating grubs, but also often linked with bub "drink."