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[ruhg] /rʌg/
a thick fabric for covering part of a floor, often woven of wool and often having an oblong shape with a border design.
Compare carpet.
the treated skin of an animal, used as a floor covering:
a bear rug.
Chiefly British. a piece of thick, warm cloth, used as a coverlet, lap robe, etc.
Slang. toupee; hairpiece.
cut a rug, Older Slang. to dance, especially to jitterbug.
Origin of rug
1545-55; < Old Norse rǫgg wool, long hairs; compare Norwegian rugga covering of coarse wool, Swedish rugg coarse hair
Related forms
ruglike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for rug
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He had the air of laying at her feet, as a rug, the whole glorious history of France.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • "There it goes now," cried the child, jumping up from the rug.

    The Little Colonel Annie Fellows Johnston
  • And on that rug was a fine representation of Mars, the god of war.

  • She stepped off the rug, went to the "express office," and took a card from the desk.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • I thought you might look for a rug, but I'd rather go with you to select it.

    Alice Adams Booth Tarkington
British Dictionary definitions for rug


a floor covering, smaller than a carpet and made of thick wool or of other material, such as an animal skin
(mainly Brit) a blanket, esp one used as a wrap or lap robe for travellers
(slang) a wig
pull the rug out from under, to betray, expose, or leave defenceless
See also rug up
Derived Forms
ruglike, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Scandinavian; compare Norwegian rugga, Swedish rugg coarse hair. See rag1


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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rug

1550s, "coarse fabric," of Scandinavian origin, cf. Norwegian dialectal rugga "coarse coverlet," from Old Norse rogg "shaggy tuft," from Proto-Germanic *rawwa-, perhaps related to rag (n.) and rough (adj.). Sense evolved to "coverlet, wrap" (1590s), then "mat for the floor" (1808). Meaning "toupee" is theater slang from 1940. Cut a rug "dance" is slang first attested 1942. To sweep (something) under the rug in the figurative sense is from 1954.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for rug



A toupee; hairpiece; divot: I even wear a little rug up front (1940s+ fr theater)

Related Terms

cut the rug, pull the rug out from under

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with rug
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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