1.Apply firm pressure to the surface of (something), using a repeated back and forth motion.
‘she rubbed her arm, where she had a large bruise'
‘he rubbed at the earth on his jeans'
‘He wrapped his arms around me and rubbed my back to comfort me.'
‘She moved closer to him and put her arms on his, rubbing them slightly.'
‘The girl rubbed her temple, trying to alleviate pressure there.'
2.Move (one's hand, a cloth, or another object) back and forth against a surface.
‘he rubbed a finger round the rim of his mug'
‘She moved away from the wall and rubbed a hand over her face.'
‘I rubbed my cold hands over my goosebump-ridden legs and looked up.'
‘He reached out to rub his hand across the curly hair she kept cropped short.'
‘He touched my cheek with his hand, rubbing his thumb over my cheek.'
3.Apply (ointment, polish, or a similar substance) with a back and forth motion.
‘she took out her suncream and rubbed some on her nose'
‘Many women get relief with the hormonal creams that are rubbed on the skin, but they haven't been studied as extensively for risks.'
‘After your shower/bath get some baby powder or scented lotion and rub it all over your body.'
‘She had different ointments to rub on and disinfectants to wash out cuts.'
‘Wipe the foliage clean, if necessary, and if you wish, rub a little vegetable oil on the leaves to heighten the gloss.'
4.Make dry, clean, or smooth by rubbing.
‘she found a towel and began rubbing her hair'
‘I rubbed myself dry'
‘Eva quickly rubbed herself dry and opened a door to the closet.'
‘I stood up, and wrung out my hair, and went to my satchel and pulled off the shift that was clinging to me, and rubbed myself dry and put on a fresh shift.'
‘She towel dried her hair, rubbing the black, wet strands.'
5.Work an ingredient into (a mixture) by breaking and blending it with firm movements of one's fingers.
‘sift the flour into a bowl and rub in the fat'
‘Sift the flour into a bowl, rub the butter in until it looks like fine bread crumbs and add the oatmeal.'
‘Cut the chilled butter into small pieces then, using the tips of your fingers, rub it into the flour until it has the consistency of breadcrumbs.'
‘Sift the flour, cinnamon and sugar into a bowl and rub the butter in until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.'
‘Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and butter pieces are between the size of a pea and a dime.'
6.Reproduce the design of (a sepulchral brass or a stone) by rubbing paper laid on it with coloured wax, pencil, or chalk, etc.
‘he was rubbing an old brass'
‘You can rub the names, inscriptions, dates and more, but also think about rubbing the beautiful artistic carvings you see.'
7.(with reference to two things) move or cause to move to and fro against each other with a certain amount of friction.
‘many insects make noises by rubbing parts of their bodies together'
‘the ice breaks into small floes that rub against each other'
‘Ernst said a supply hose had been rubbing against the dryer and was chafing through, which contributed to the natural gas smell.'
‘He keeps rubbing those hands together, fidgeting with his fingers.'
‘He rubbed his thumb and index fingers together, before he tried to speak to her again.'
8.(of shoes or other hard items in contact with the skin) cause pain through friction.
‘badly fitting shoes can rub painfully'
‘I had a blister on my heel that burned badly as my oversized shoes rubbed up and down.'
‘The joints are stiff, making it harder to move them, and it can be difficult to straighten out the toes to prevent rubbing against shoes.'
‘It's also a good idea to avoid mended socks with thick seams, which can rub and irritate your skin.'
‘Do not wear uncomfortable or tight shoes that rub or cut into your feet.'
9.(of a bowl) be slowed or diverted by the unevenness of the ground.
1.(of a bowl) be slowed or diverted by the unevenness of the ground.
‘she pulled out a towel and gave her head a quick rub'
2.An act of rubbing.
‘The pain startled him out of his thoughts, but a quick rub of the injury relieved the throbbing.'
‘Befriend an alley cat that could benefit from some catnip and a few rubs.'
‘I strolled over to him, gave him a friendly rub, and then turned to back to tend to Chaz.'
‘Thomas jumped out, gave me a rub, ran straight to his food bowl, and started eating.'
3.An ointment designed to be rubbed on the skin to ease pain.
‘a muscle rub'
‘They've replaced salt rubs because sugar is gentler to the skin and less dehydrating.'
‘I also keep Bach Rescue Remedy in my first-aid kit, along with a good muscle balm and a chest rub.'
‘Alcohol-based rubs can replace some portion of hand washing, but repeated use of these hand rubs for skin antisepsis can lead to dry skin.'
‘For pregnant women who do not want to take internal medicine for fear of side effects on the child, cold rubs are again an effective alternative.'
4.The central problem or difficulty in a situation.
‘that was the rub—she had not cared enough'
‘The rub is that the City Attorney's Office has declared a conflict of interest.'
‘More than financial, the rub we feel in such circumstances is the tension between competing views of how we can be most helpful to newsrooms.'
‘The rub is that I don't feel the requisite sensations, and never have, in the presence of the paintings themselves.'
‘The rub is this: the sender is asking for your bank details in order to pay the win.'
5.(in bowling) an uneven patch of ground that impedes or diverts a bowl.
‘He got a brilliant rub with his bowl to Farley's corner and he was suddenly a bowl of odds clear again.'