dub

1
[ duhb ]
/ dʌb /

verb (used with object), dubbed, dub·bing.

to invest with any name, character, dignity, or title; style; name; call: He was dubbed a hero.
to strike lightly with a sword in the ceremony of conferring knighthood; make, or designate as, a knight: The king dubbed him a knight.
to strike, cut, rub, or make smooth, as leather or timber.

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Idioms for dub

    dub bright, Shipbuilding. to shave off the outer surface of the planking of (a ship).

Origin of dub

1
First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English dubben, late Old English (assumed) dubbian (in phrase dubbade tō ridere “dubbed to knight(hood)”), from Anglo-French dubber, dobber, douber, shortened form of ad(o)uber, equivalent to prefix a- (from Latin ad- “to”) + do(u)ber, from Old Low Franconian (assumed) dubban “to strike, beat,” cognate with Low German dubben; see origin at a-5, dub3, daube

OTHER WORDS FROM dub

dubber, noun

Definition for dub (2 of 5)

dub2
[ duhb ]
/ dʌb /

noun Slang.

an awkward, unskillful person.

Origin of dub

2
First recorded in 1885–90; of expressive origin, cf. flub, flubdub, dub3

Definition for dub (3 of 5)

dub3
[ duhb ]
/ dʌb /

verb (used with object), dubbed, dub·bing.

to thrust; poke.
Golf. to hit (a ball) poorly; misplay (a shot).
to execute poorly.

verb (used without object), dubbed, dub·bing.

to thrust; poke.

noun

a thrust; poke.
a drumbeat.

Origin of dub

3
First recorded in 1505–15; apparently same word (with older sense) as dub1

Definition for dub (4 of 5)

Origin of dub

4
First recorded in 1925–30; short for double

OTHER WORDS FROM dub

dubber, noun

Definition for dub (5 of 5)

dub5
[ duhb ]
/ dʌb /

noun Chiefly Scot.

a pool of water; puddle.

Origin of dub

5
First recorded in 1490–1500; of obscure origin; perhaps akin to Middle Low German dobbe “pond, puddle”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

ABOUT THIS WORD

What else does dub mean?

Dub has many meanings in English. It can variously mean “to nickname” and “to voice a film in a different language.” It can be short for double and the letter W. It can be slang for a marijuana “joint”, or $20 worth of drugs. Dub also refers to a popular genre of music derived from reggae.

Where did dub come from?

Dub, for “to nickname” (1600s) someone, comes from dubbing someone a knight ceremonially with a sword (1100s).

Many other senses emerged over the centuries, including slang for “a fool” and a bad shot in golf, also called a duff.

Dub was shortened from double in the 1920s. This dubbing is providing another soundtrack to a film, especially in a different language (e.g., a film dubbed into English), or a musical recording (overdubs).

Musical dubbing (doubling a recording or adding tracks) supplied the name of Dub music. Dub stemmed from Jamaican reggae in the 1960s and features remixes of earlier reggae recordings. It influenced a genre of electronic dance music, dubstep, in London in the 1990s, popularized by the musician Skrillex in the 2000s.

Dub for double was slang for $20 (double ten) in the 1940s and for $20 worth of a drug in the 2010s, as seen in some hip-hop lyrics. Speaking of drugs, dub named a cigarette in the 1970s and then a marijuana joint in the 1990s, perhaps as a form of doobie.

Finally, dub can be short for the letter W, based on its pronunciation. George W. Bush went by Dubya by 2000. Later in the 20th century, dub became slang for “a win (in sports),” a stand-in for W.

Who uses dub?

Dub sees wide use when it means “to give a name” to someone, usually an unofficial one like a nickname (e.g., We dubbed him Fiver since he was always five minutes late to meetings). It also sees playfully lofty use in reference to its original knighting.

Should a team win a game or a person experience some victory, they make take the dub.

Dubbing is still very common in its foreign-language, voice-over sense. In the anime community, for instance, a debate rages over whether it’s better to watch a film in a dubbed or subbed (subtitled) version.

More examples of dub:

“He also says he’d love to do a real dub-meets-metal band, even if he’s the only one who likes it. Which frankly might end up being pretty cool.”
—Greg Kennelty, Metal Injection, September 2018

Note

This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

Example sentences from the Web for dub

British Dictionary definitions for dub (1 of 6)

dub1
/ (dʌb) /

verb dubs, dubbing or dubbed

(tr) to invest (a person) with knighthood by the ritual of tapping on the shoulder with a sword
(tr) to invest with a title, name, or nickname
(tr) to dress (leather) by rubbing
angling to dress (a fly)

noun

the sound of a drum

Word Origin for dub

Old English dubbian; related to Old Norse dubba to dub a knight, Old High German tubili plug, peg

British Dictionary definitions for dub (2 of 6)

dub2
/ (dʌb) /

verb dubs, dubbing or dubbed films television

to alter the soundtrack of (an old recording, film, etc)
(tr) to substitute for the soundtrack of (a film) a new soundtrack, esp in a different language
(tr) to provide (a film or tape) with a soundtrack
(tr) to alter (a taped soundtrack) by removing some parts and exaggerating others

noun

films the new sounds added
  1. music a style of record production associated with reggae, involving the removal or exaggeration of instrumental parts, extensive use of echo, etc
  2. (as modifier)a dub mix

Word Origin for dub

C20: shortened from double

British Dictionary definitions for dub (3 of 6)

dub3
/ (dʌb) /

verb dubs, dubbing or dubbed

Australian and NZ informal short for double-bank

British Dictionary definitions for dub (4 of 6)

dub4
/ (dʌb) US and Canadian informal /

noun

a clumsy or awkward person or player

verb dubs, dubbing or dubbed

to bungle (a shot), as in golf

Word Origin for dub

C19: of uncertain origin

British Dictionary definitions for dub (5 of 6)

dub5
/ (dʌb) /

noun

Scot and Northern English dialect a pool of water; puddle

Word Origin for dub

C16: Scottish dialect dubbe; related to Middle Low German dobbe

British Dictionary definitions for dub (6 of 6)

dub6
/ (dʌb) /

verb dubs, dubbing or dubbed

(intr; foll by in, up, or out) slang to contribute to the cost of (something); pay

Word Origin for dub

C19: of obscure origin
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

Medical definitions for dub

DUB

abbr.

dysfunctional uterine bleeding
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.