View synonyms for grub


[ gruhb ]


  1. the thick-bodied, sluggish larva of several insects, as of a scarab beetle.
  2. a dull, plodding person; drudge.
  3. an unkempt person.
  4. Slang. food; victuals.
  5. any remaining roots or stumps after cutting vegetation to clear land for farming.

verb (used with object)

, grubbed, grub·bing.
  1. to dig; clear of roots, stumps, etc.
  2. to dig up by the roots; uproot (often followed by up or out ).
  3. Slang. to supply with food; feed.
  4. Slang. to scrounge:

    to grub a cigarette.

verb (used without object)

, grubbed, grub·bing.
  1. to dig; search by or as if by digging:

    We grubbed through piles of old junk to find the deed.

  2. to lead a laborious or groveling life; drudge:

    It's wonderful to have money after having to grub for so many years.

  3. to engage in laborious study.
  4. Slang. to eat; take food.


/ ɡrʌb /


  1. whentr, often foll by up or out to search for and pull up (roots, stumps, etc) by digging in the ground
  2. to dig up the surface of (ground, soil, etc), esp to clear away roots, stumps, etc
  3. intr; often foll by in or among to search carefully
  4. intr to work unceasingly, esp at a dull task or research
  5. slang.
    to provide (a person) with food or (of a person) to take food
  6. slang.
    tr to scrounge

    to grub a cigarette


  1. the short legless larva of certain insects, esp beetles
  2. slang.
    food; victuals
  3. a person who works hard, esp in a dull plodding way
  4. informal.
    a dirty child

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Other Words From

  • grubber noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of grub1

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English grubbe (noun), grubben (verb); akin to Old High German grubilōn “to dig,” German grübeln “to rack (the brain),” Old Norse gryfia “hole, pit”; grave 1, groove

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Word History and Origins

Origin of grub1

C13: of Germanic origin; compare Old High German grubilōn to dig, German grübeln to rack one's brain, Middle Dutch grobben to scrape together; see grave ³, groove

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Example Sentences

When it comes to more casual grub, you’re looking at a pretty standard concessions operation, with a few notable exceptions.

They gathered food in fruit trees above the pens, and the swine gulped down the guano and infected bits of grub that rained from above.

Meg may have weighed as much as three times more, and would have presumably required proportional grub.

From there, you’ll want to get a bit of grub, with a side of history.

It was more the job of Gollum, kneeling in the muck of the lowlands, head down, digging with bare hands alongside the grubs and earthworms.

Real-estate expert Julian Hitchcock told Grub Street he expects to see more chain restaurants pop up in New York.

The man who started the L.A. food truck craze shares his favorite spots to grab some delicious grub on wheels.

Nothing humbles an autocrat quite like the need to grub for votes.

Good grub, lots of monitors, and the waitresses are usually hot.

Summer is just over the surf, so start looking now for those hidden beach shacks where the best grub of the season is found.

It wasn't long before she surprised the object of her search in the act of eating a fat grub beside a pumpkin.

What of the infinite goodness of God in teaching the grub of the ichneumon-fly to eat up the cabbage caterpillar alive?

For that matter, he said, he didn't care a tinker's dam if we were; he had grub and bedding and we were welcome to both.

While we were packing grub and bedding on Piegan's extra horse, Lyn joined us, wrapped from head to heel in a yellow slicker.

She said Noo York took a turrible lot of money–clothes, and grub, and so forth and so on.


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GRUgrub beam