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[ruhb-uh-duhb] /ˈrʌb əˌdʌb/
the sound of a drum when beaten.
Origin of rub-a-dub
First recorded in 1780-90; imitative Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for rub-a-dub
Historical Examples
  • And then we made a rub-a-dub on a goat-skin drum, which was hanging on a stump for visitors.

    Dariel R. D. Blackmore
  • And away he ran among the trees in search of his pigs, while Eric heard his little drum, and his song of "rub-a-dub, halloo!"

    The Gold Thread Norman MacLeod
  • "rub-a-dub is to be buried exactly at eleven o'clock," said Iris.

  • A little French drummer, singing to his rub-a-dub, and the agreeable yell of a dog, complete the vocal performers.

  • Wolf gave a grunt like one of his pigs, and began his song of "rub-a-dub."

    The Gold Thread Norman MacLeod
  • She did not wish to be interrupted now; she wanted to find Iris to tell her of the sad fate of rub-a-dub.

  • Swinton, his ear tuned to the outer distances of the void, caught a soft faint rub-a-dub, rub-a-dub!

    The Three Sapphires W. A. Fraser
  • Ever and anon you hear the rub-a-dub of the drums, as new detachments pass on towards the Corso.

    Rome in 1860 Edward Dicey
  • "That would not be rub-a-dub," she said; then she buried her little, fat face on his shoulder and sobs shook her frame.

  • rub-a-dub, rolled the drums—the walls were manned—and rockets went fizzing and bursting in the air, for assistance from the ships.

    Los Gringos H. A. (Henry Agustus) Wise
Word Origin and History for rub-a-dub

1787, echoic of the sound of a drum.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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