- to rub hard with a brush, cloth, etc., or against a rough surface in washing.
- to subject to friction; rub.
- to remove (dirt, grime, etc.) from something by hard rubbing while washing.
- Chemistry. to remove (impurities or undesirable components) from a gas by chemical means, as sulfur dioxide from smokestack gas or carbon dioxide from exhaled air in life-support packs.
- to cancel or postpone (a space flight or part of a mission): Ground control scrubbed the spacewalk.
- Slang. to do away with; cancel: Scrub your vacation plans—there's work to do!
- to cleanse something by hard rubbing.
- to cleanse one's hands and arms as a preparation to performing or assisting in surgery (often followed by up).
- an act or instance of scrubbing.
- a canceled or postponed space flight, launching, scheduled part of a space mission, etc.
- something, as a cosmetic preparation, used for scrubbing.
Origin of scrub1
- low trees or shrubs collectively.
- a large area covered with low trees and shrubs, as the Australian bush.
- a domestic animal of mixed or inferior breeding; mongrel.
- a small or insignificant person.
- anything undersized or inferior.
- Sports. a player not belonging to the varsity or regular team; a player who is not first-string.
- small, undersized, or stunted.
- inferior or insignificant.
- abounding in or covered with low trees and shrubs: They rode through scrub country.
Origin of scrub2
Examples from the Web for scrubs
Blake escapes from the Scrubs, hides out near the prison, and then makes his way across Europe to Moscow.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
Zach Braff and Donald Faison The Scrubs stars reunited to sing this holiday duet.The Most WTF Covers of ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside,’ Everyone’s Favorite Date-Rape Holiday Classic
November 19, 2014
“No Scrubs,” an anthem about self-respect on the dating market.Beyoncé Is Our Indigo Girl: The Halcyon '90s and Feminism's Resurgence in Pop Music
August 26, 2014
Cobb ultimately met and married Scrubs star Donald Faison, and now finds herself walking red carpets as his Mrs.When Your BFF Is a Hollywood VIP
March 11, 2014
"Creep," "No Scrubs," and "Unpretty," obviously, were huge crowd pleasers.TLC Reunites for a New York City Concert. Dreams Do Come True
January 31, 2014
She reads when she knits, she reads when she scrubs, she even reads when she feeds her babies.The Stark Munro Letters
J. Stark Munro
It realises the dream of some insane hygienist: it scrubs the sky.A Miscellany of Men
G. K. Chesterton
"They certainly are scrubs," she repeated as she bent for a closer inspection.Hester's Counterpart
Jean K. Baird
No one could tell which one or how many would be "fired" back into the scrubs.
Were they to have a defeat "slapped" upon them by the scrubs?
- the hygienic clothing worn by surgeons and other operating theatre staff during an operation
- to rub (a surface) hard, with or as if with a brush, soap, and water, in order to clean it
- to remove (dirt), esp by rubbing with a brush and water
- (intr foll by up) (of a surgeon) to wash the hands and arms thoroughly before operating
- (tr) to purify (a vapour or gas) by removing impurities
- (tr) informal to delete or cancel
- (intr) horse racing slang (of jockeys) to urge a horse forwards by moving the arms and whip rhythmically forwards and backwards alongside its neck
- the act of or an instance of scrubbing
- vegetation consisting of stunted trees, bushes, and other plants growing in an arid area
- (as modifier)scrub vegetation
- an area of arid land covered with such vegetation
- an animal of inferior breeding or condition
- (as modifier)a scrub bull
- a small or insignificant person
- anything stunted or inferior
- sport, US and Canadian a player not in the first team
- the scrub Australian informal a remote place, esp one where contact with people can be avoided
- small, stunted, or inferior
- sport, US and Canadian
- (of a player) not in the first team
- (of a team) composed of such players
- (of a contest) between scratch or incomplete teams
Word Origin and History for scrubs
"rub hard," early 15c., earlier shrubben (c.1300), perhaps from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German schrubben "to scrub," or from an unrecorded Old English cognate, or from a Scandinavian source (cf. Danish skrubbe "to scrub"), probably ultimately from the Proto-Germanic root of shrub, used as a cleaning tool (cf. the evolution of broom, brush (n.1)).
Meaning "to cancel" is attested from 1828 (popularized during World War II with reference to flights), probably from notion of "to rub out, erase" an entry on a listing. Related: Scrubbed; scrubbing.
late 14c., "low, stunted tree," variant of shrobbe (see shrub), perhaps influenced by a Scandinavian word (cf. Danish dialectal skrub "a stunted tree, brushwood"). Collective sense "brush, shrubs" is attested from 1805. As an adjective from 1710. Scrub oak recorded from 1766.
Transferred sense of "mean, insignificant fellow" is from 1580s; U.S. sports meaning "athlete not on the varsity team" is recorded from 1892, probably from this, but cf. scrub "hard-working servant, drudge" (1709), perhaps from influence of scrub (v.).
"act of scrubbing," 1620s, from scrub (v.). Meaning "thing that is used in scrubbing" is from 1680s.