- the thick-bodied, sluggish larva of several insects, as of a scarab beetle.
- a dull, plodding person; drudge.
- an unkempt person.
- Slang. food; victuals.
- any remaining roots or stumps after cutting vegetation to clear land for farming.
- to dig; clear of roots, stumps, etc.
- to dig up by the roots; uproot (often followed by up or out).
- Slang. to supply with food; feed.
- Slang. to scrounge: to grub a cigarette.
- to dig; search by or as if by digging: We grubbed through piles of old junk to find the deed.
- to lead a laborious or groveling life; drudge: It's wonderful to have money after having to grub for so many years.
- to engage in laborious study.
- Slang. to eat; take food.
Origin of grub
Related Wordsmaggot, worm, eats, caterpillar, entozoon, centipede, feed, provisions, victuals, sustenance, chow, nosh, nurture, viands, rations, edibles, shovel, forage, probe, ransack
Examples from the Web for grub
Nothing humbles an autocrat quite like the need to grub for votes.Memo: The Aaron Sorkin Model of Political Discourse Doesn't Actually Work
April 23, 2013
It was really only a paraphrase of the old story of the grub and the butterfly.The Fortune Hunter
Louis Joseph Vance
Them grub all gone, them Injuns mebbyso ketchum hungry belly.
Yo' all time eatum my grub, yo' no givum me money, no givum hoss, no givum notting.
Let's go back, eat the grub, and then continue the hunt for Ned.Frank Roscoe's Secret
I had some hardtack and tea in my “grub bag,” and these I left with her.The Long Labrador Trail
- (when tr, often foll by up or out) to search for and pull up (roots, stumps, etc) by digging in the ground
- to dig up the surface of (ground, soil, etc), esp to clear away roots, stumps, etc
- (intr; often foll by in or among) to search carefully
- (intr) to work unceasingly, esp at a dull task or research
- slang to provide (a person) with food or (of a person) to take food
- (tr) slang, mainly US to scroungeto grub a cigarette
- the short legless larva of certain insects, esp beetles
- slang food; victuals
- a person who works hard, esp in a dull plodding way
- British informal a dirty child
Word Origin and History for grub
c.1300, from hypothetical Old English *grubbian, from West Germanic *grubbjan (cf. Middle Dutch grobben, Old High German grubilon "to dig, search," German grübeln "to meditate, ponder"), from Proto-Germanic *grub- "to dig," base of Old English grafan (see grave (v.)).
"larva," early 15c., perhaps from grub (v.) on the notion of "digging insect," or from the possibly unrelated Middle English grub "dwarfish fellow" (c.1400). Meaning "dull drudge" is 1650s. The slang sense of "food" is first recorded 1650s, said to be from birds eating grubs, but also often linked with bub "drink."