- 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 cleanse something by hard rubbing.
- to cleanse one's hands and arms as a preparation to performing or assisting in surgery (often followed by up).
- 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.
Origin of scrub1
- 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.
Origin of scrub2
Related Words for scrubrub, mop, wash, brush, cleanse, scour, abort, polish, abrade, buff, abandon, delete, drop, discontinue, abolish
Examples from the Web for scrub
Contemporary Examples of scrub
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
January 3, 2015
Havens is optimistic that if PHA beads could be used successfully in cosmetics without losing their ability to scrub.Your Favorite Facewash Is Hurting Nemo
Alexa C. Kurzius
June 18, 2014
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
June 4, 2014
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
March 24, 2013
The contamination was ultimately traced back to a scrub technician named Kristen Parker.Doctor Accused of Infecting Patients With Hepatitis C Breaks Silence
February 22, 2013
Historical Examples of scrub
Ponds in the scrub could not easily be identified as channels.
And what boldness is this for a scrub of a servant to speak in such a way before her master?The Imaginary Invalid
I've had to let the fire go down here, an' scrub till I could ha' cried.Meadow Grass
Besides, she had tried to scrub his favorite violin with sapolio.The Village Watch-Tower
(AKA Kate Douglas Riggs) Kate Douglas Wiggin
I did not get into a single game, I was only used on the "scrub" in our practice.The Harbor
- 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
Word Origin for scrub
- 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
Word Origin for scrub
"rub hard," early 15c., earlier shrubben (c.1300), perhaps from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German schrubben "to scrub," or from an unrecorded Old English cognate, or from a Scandinavian source (cf. Danish skrubbe "to scrub"), probably ultimately from the Proto-Germanic root of shrub, used as a cleaning tool (cf. the evolution of broom, brush (n.1)).
Meaning "to cancel" is attested from 1828 (popularized during World War II with reference to flights), probably from notion of "to rub out, erase" an entry on a listing. Related: Scrubbed; scrubbing.
late 14c., "low, stunted tree," variant of shrobbe (see shrub), perhaps influenced by a Scandinavian word (cf. Danish dialectal skrub "a stunted tree, brushwood"). Collective sense "brush, shrubs" is attested from 1805. As an adjective from 1710. Scrub oak recorded from 1766.
Transferred sense of "mean, insignificant fellow" is from 1580s; U.S. sports meaning "athlete not on the varsity team" is recorded from 1892, probably from this, but cf. scrub "hard-working servant, drudge" (1709), perhaps from influence of scrub (v.).
"act of scrubbing," 1620s, from scrub (v.). Meaning "thing that is used in scrubbing" is from 1680s.