[ gruhb ]
/ grʌb /
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verb (used with object), grubbed, grub·bing.
verb (used without object), grubbed, grub·bing.
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Origin of grub

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”; see grave1, groove

historical usage of grub

The English noun grub, first recorded in the 15th century with the meaning “larva of an insect,” derives from the verb. The Middle English verb grubben, grobben “to dig the earth (with a tool)” comes from an unrecorded Old English verb grybban, grubbian and is akin to Gothic graban “to dig,” Old High German grubilōn “to dig, search for,” Middle Dutch grobben, and Dutch grobbelen “to root about, feel about for something.”
The Germanic words all derive from the Germanic root grab- “to dig, bury, scratch,” source of the English noun grave “excavation in the earth for burial of a body” and the verb grave “to carve or sculpt.”
The “food, victuals” slang meaning of grub dates from the mid-17th century. The slang meaning “to beg or scrounge” dates from the late 19th century.


grubber, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use grub in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for grub

/ (ɡrʌb) /

verb grubs, grubbing or grubbed

Word Origin for grub

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
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