- 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
Examples from the Web for scrubbing
Contemporary Examples of scrubbing
She works as a maid, scrubbing floors and toilets of the well-to-do families in West Hartford, Connecticut.Breaking Mount Everest’s Glass Ceiling
Amanda Padoan, Peter Zuckerman
March 30, 2014
First-generation girls were scrubbing floors and helping out.Mel Brooks Is Always Funny and Often Wise in This 1975 Playboy Interview
February 16, 2014
Now she found herself cooking for eight men and scrubbing the toilet aboard a small boat with no hot water.Chris Matthews on the Buckley Mystique
May 3, 2009
Then the woman in charge of scrubbing the federal budget apparently not scrubbing her own taxes.What Really Did Tom Daschle In
February 3, 2009
Historical Examples of scrubbing
Pop was putting away the dishes, and Jud was scrubbing out the sink.Way of the Lawless
Bill was scrubbing the porch, and a farmhand was gathering bottles from the grass into a box.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Even when fresh from a scrubbing, his hands were not entirely clean.Dust
Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
Pansy Murphy was scrubbing out the office when he came down for breakfast.The Fortune Hunter
Louis Joseph Vance
The grime was perpetually renewed; scrubbing only ground it in.Alice Adams
- 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
Word Origin and History for scrubbing
"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.