• synonyms


See more synonyms for scrubber on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person who scrubs.
  2. a device or process for removing pollutants from smoke or gas produced by burning high-sulfur fuels.
  3. a machine or appliance used in scrubbing: an automatic floor scrubber.
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Origin of scrubber1

First recorded in 1830–40; scrub1 + -er1


  1. a mongrel, especially a mongrel steer.
  2. a thin or stunted steer.
  3. Australian.
    1. an inhabitant of the bush.
    2. any domestic animal that has run off into the bush and become wild, especially a steer.
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Origin of scrubber2

First recorded in 1855–60; scrub2 + -er1


noun British Slang.
  1. a prostitute or promiscuous woman.
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Origin of scrubber3

1955–60; variously explained as sense development of either scrubber1 or scrubber2; compare earlier scrub in same sense
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for scrubber

Historical Examples

  • Most manufacturers, however, simply cool the gas in the washer or scrubber.

    Gas-Engines and Producer-Gas Plants

    R. E. Mathot

  • Seventh: Adjust the normal outflow of wash-water for the scrubber.

  • The final washing for ammonia is effected in an apparatus termed a “scrubber,” which is a cylindrical tower packed with boards in.

  • One who is my neighbor is now scrubber and cleaner, and is happily friends with a 'concierge,' who allows her to aid him.

  • The next stage is the passage of the scrubber, filled with coke over which water perpetually flows.

    How it Works

    Archibald Williams

British Dictionary definitions for scrubber


  1. a person or thing that scrubs
  2. an apparatus for purifying a gas
  3. British and Australian derogatory, slang a promiscuous woman
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  1. Australian a domestic animal, esp a bullock, that has run wild in the bush
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Word Origin

C19: from scrub ²
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