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.

Nearby words

  1. rufiyaa,
  2. rufous,
  3. rufous hummingbird,
  4. rufter hood,
  5. rufus,
  6. rug rat,
  7. rug up ,
  8. rug-cutter,
  9. ruga,
  10. rugae


    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 formsrug·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for cut a rug



a floor covering, smaller than a carpet and made of thick wool or of other material, such as an animal skin
mainly British 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 Formsruglike, adjective

Word Origin for rug

C16: from Scandinavian; compare Norwegian rugga, Swedish rugg coarse hair. See rag 1


abbreviation for

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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

Word Origin and History for cut a 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

Idioms and Phrases with cut a rug


see pull the rug out from under; sweep under the rug. Also see under carpet.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.