verb (used with object), scrubbed, scrub·bing.
- 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.
verb (used without object), scrubbed, scrub·bing.
THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?
Origin of scrub1
OTHER WORDS FROM scrubscrub·ba·ble, adjectivenon·scrub·ba·ble, adjective
Words nearby scrub
Definition for scrub (2 of 2)
Origin of scrub2
ABOUT THIS WORD
What else does scrub mean?
Scrub is slang for someone who is just plain bad at something—a no-talent hack. This could be in sports, video games, or thanks to TLC’s hit song, relationships.
Where does scrub come from?
Scrub has been slang for an “insignificant or contemptible person” since the 1500s. Over the centuries, the term was used as a slur to denigrate prostitutes and even Black people for a time. In the late 1800s, scrub was being used by athletes to deride inferior opponents. The term derives from a form of shrub.
In the 1990s, R&B girl group, TLC, helped make scrub a household term seemingly every woman in the 2000s used to describe broke guys. On the chorus of their 1999 track “No Scrubs,” TLC bops: “No, I don’t want no scrubs / A scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me / Hangin’ out the passenger side of his best friend’s ride / Trying to holla at me.”
Scrub spread to video game culture in the 2010s, seeing heavy use on Steam, GameFAQs, and Reddit. Early on, it was especially used in fighting game communities for a poor or new player, (noob) but it since has expanded into other genres.
How is scrub used in real life?
Scrub is a general insult for someone who is bad at something. It can be applied in a range of contexts, from sports to video games to dating. Regarding the latter, a scrub usually refers to a man, though women aren’t exempt from the “lowlife” insult.
More examples of scrub:
“[Tristan] Thompson has never been an elite player, but ever since he started dated Khloe, his performances have really gone downhill. He’s not the great offensive rebounder he once was, and is looking more and more like an overpaid scrub.”
—Nemanja Vukasinovic, Fadeaway World, August 2018
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 scrub
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|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|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|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|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.
In their company we now made our way Northwards along a path through fairly thick scrub as high as a man's waist.
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)
verb scrubs, scrubbing or scrubbed
Word Origin for scrub
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 animal of inferior breeding or condition
- (as modifier)a scrub bull
- (of a player) not in the first team
- (of a team) composed of such players
- (of a contest) between scratch or incomplete teams