[ skruhb ]
/ skrʌb /

verb (used with object), scrubbed, scrub·bing.

verb (used without object), scrubbed, scrub·bing.

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).


Nearby words

  1. scrounge,
  2. scrounge around,
  3. scrounge up,
  4. scroungy,
  5. scrovegni chapel,
  6. scrub bird,
  7. scrub brush,
  8. scrub fowl,
  9. scrub jay,
  10. scrub nurse

Origin of scrub

1300–50; Middle English scrobben (noun) < Middle Dutch schrobben

Related formsscrub·ba·ble, adjectivenon·scrub·ba·ble, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scrubbing

British Dictionary definitions for scrubbing


/ (skrʌb) /

verb scrubs, scrubbing or scrubbed


the act of or an instance of scrubbing
See also scrub round

Word Origin for scrub

C14: from Middle Low German schrubben, or Middle Dutch schrobben


/ (skrʌb) /



small, stunted, or inferior
sport, US and Canadian
  1. (of a player) not in the first team
  2. (of a team) composed of such players
  3. (of a contest) between scratch or incomplete teams

Word Origin for scrub

C16: variation of shrub 1

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

Word Origin and History for scrubbing
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper