The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Rub \Rub\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Rubbed; p. pr. & vb. n.
Rubbing.] [Probably of Celtic origin; cf. W. rhwbiaw, gael.
1. To subject (a body) to the action of something moving over
its surface with pressure and friction, especially to the
action of something moving back and forth; as, to rub the
flesh with the hand; to rub wood with sandpaper.
It shall be expedient, after that body is cleaned,
to rub the body with a coarse linen cloth. --Sir T.
2. To move over the surface of (a body) with pressure and
friction; to graze; to chafe; as, the boat rubs the
3. To cause (a body) to move with pressure and friction along
a surface; as, to rub the hand over the body.
Two bones rubbed hard against one another.
4. To spread a substance thinly over; to smear.
The smoothed plank, . . .
New rubbed with balm. --Milton.
5. To scour; to burnish; to polish; to brighten; to cleanse;
-- often with up or over; as, to rub up silver.
The whole business of our redemption is to rub over
the defaced copy of the creation. --South.
6. To hinder; to cross; to thwart. [R.]
'T is the duke's pleasure,
Whose disposition, all the world well knows,
Will not be rubbed nor stopped. --Shak.
To rub down.
(a) To clean by rubbing; to comb or curry; as, to down a
(b) To reduce or remove by rubbing; as, to rub down the
To rub off, to clean anything by rubbing; to separate by
friction; as, to rub off rust.
To rub out, to remove or separate by friction; to erase; to
obliterate; as, to rub out a mark or letter; to rub out a
To rub up.
(a) To burnish; to polish; to clean.
(b) To excite; to awaken; to rouse to action; as, to rub
up the memory.