to rub hard with a brush, cloth, etc., or against a rough surface in washing.
to subject to friction; rub.
to remove (dirt, grime, etc.) from something by hard rubbing while washing.
Chemistry. to remove (impurities or undesirable components) from a gas by chemical means, as sulfur dioxide from smokestack gas or carbon dioxide from exhaled air in life-support packs.
to cancel or postpone (a space flight or part of a mission): Ground control scrubbed the spacewalk.
Slang. to do away with; cancel: Scrub your vacation plans—there's work to do!
to perform routine maintenance on (data) in memory or storage with scans that detect and correct data corruption: The system is automated to scrub and archive all active records in the database.
to permanently erase (a hard drive, server, etc.), usually by writing over space where data had been stored and was later deleted, so that deleted data cannot be recovered: Scrub your computer’s hard drive before you sell or donate it.
to delete (negative or damaging online content relating to someone or something) so as to erase it from public record or social media: The marketing team scrubbed the disgraced celebrity spokesperson from their website within hours of the scandal.Before applying for jobs, I scrubbed a bunch of posts from my hard-partying past.
to cleanse something by hard rubbing.
Digital Technology. to fast-forward or rewind in an audio or video file by dragging the progress marker forward or backward across the timeline bar: Scrub forward through the pregame and start playback from the kickoff.
an act or instance of scrubbing.
a canceled or postponed space flight, launching, scheduled part of a space mission, etc.
something, as a cosmetic preparation, used for scrubbing.
scrubs, a uniform, durably designed for frequent washing and sanitizing, usually consisting of pants and a loose-fitting top, worn by doctors, nurses, and other medical staff, especially during surgery: surgical scrubs;nursing scrubs.
scrub in / up to cleanse one's hands and arms as a preparation to performing or assisting in surgery.
- scrub·ba·ble, adjective
- non·scrub·ba·ble, adjective
Other definitions for scrub (2 of 2)
low trees or shrubs collectively.
a large area covered with low trees and shrubs, as the Australian bush.
a domestic animal of mixed or inferior breeding; mongrel.
a small or insignificant person.
anything undersized or inferior.
Sports. a player not belonging to the varsity or regular team; a player who is not first-string.
small, undersized, or stunted.
inferior or insignificant.
abounding in or covered with low trees and shrubs: They rode through scrub country.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use scrub in a sentence
With the right ingredients and composition, a scalp scrub can bring you relief from itchiness and dryness as well as lasting satisfaction by improving your overall hair health.Scalp scrubs that banish scaly patches and build-up | PopSci Commerce Team | September 4, 2020 | Popular-Science
While you’re scrubbing, Permar said, the most important thing to focus on is “getting soap everywhere, which takes 20 seconds to accomplish.”
To keep shoppers and employees safe—or least feeling safe—companies are scrubbing down high-traffic areas, disinfecting surfaces such as touchscreens more frequently, and even employing robots to wipe floors.Covid-19 has Walmart spending $3.3 million a day on cleaning and PPE | Marc Bain | August 19, 2020 | Quartz
Standing in his scrubs, Akhtar had no idea when, or if, he would get back on the grid.How India became the world’s leader in internet shutdowns | Katie McLean | August 19, 2020 | MIT Technology Review
Have a copywriter familiar with regional dialects scrub through your copy to look for words, spelling, and colloquialisms that might not make sense for the area you’re targeting.
Do as Tumblr has done and scrub her last words off the Internet—erase everything she wanted the world to hear.Cover-Ups and Concern Trolls: Actually, It's About Ethics in Suicide Journalism | Arthur Chu | January 3, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Havens is optimistic that if PHA beads could be used successfully in cosmetics without losing their ability to scrub.
It depicts an exhausted Texas oil field on scrub land, an old railroad bed and a watery ditch converging in the distance.Rackstraw Downes’s Art and Essays Are Two Sides of the Same Genius | Bill Morris | June 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Mountain passes lead to high plains dotted with green scrub and otherworldly rock outcroppings.Big-Sky West Texas: A Road Trip Through Hidden America | Condé Nast Traveler | March 18, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The newest edition adapts the same principles to the digital age and urges kids to scrub their Facebook pages.How to Reinvent College Rankings: Show the Data Students Need Most | Steve Cohen | March 24, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Our mothers their nurse-women, our sisters their scrub-women, our daughters their maid-women, and our wives their washer-women.
Before he could draw a bead, the rabbit vanished behind a distant scrub oak.Restricted Tool | Malcolm B. Morehart
The scrub was so thick that they had to climb together and follow-my-leader along what appeared to be cattle tracks up the hill.Gallipoli Diary, Volume 2 | Ian Hamilton
In their company we now made our way Northwards along a path through fairly thick scrub as high as a man's waist.Gallipoli Diary, Volume 2 | Ian Hamilton
Ignoring the presence of his rival, Lamont passed aside and entered the scrub bush which fringed the odorous forest.Menotah | Ernest G. Henham
British Dictionary definitions for scrub (1 of 2)
to rub (a surface) hard, with or as if with a brush, soap, and water, in order to clean it
to remove (dirt), esp by rubbing with a brush and water
(intr foll by up) (of a surgeon) to wash the hands and arms thoroughly before operating
(tr) to purify (a vapour or gas) by removing impurities
(tr) informal to delete or cancel
(intr) horse racing slang (of jockeys) to urge a horse forwards by moving the arms and whip rhythmically forwards and backwards alongside its neck
the act of or an instance of scrubbing
- See also scrub round
British Dictionary definitions for scrub (2 of 2)
vegetation consisting of stunted trees, bushes, and other plants growing in an arid area
(as modifier): scrub vegetation
an area of arid land covered with such vegetation
an animal of inferior breeding or condition
(as modifier): a scrub bull
a small or insignificant person
anything stunted or inferior
sport, US and Canadian a player not in the first team
the scrub Australian informal a remote place, esp one where contact with people can be avoided
small, stunted, or inferior
sport, US and Canadian
(of a player) not in the first team
(of a team) composed of such players
(of a contest) between scratch or incomplete teams
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