Definition of grub in English:


Syllabification: grub
Pronunciation: /grəb


  • 1The larva of an insect, especially a beetle.
    More example sentences
    • Dwarf mongooses mainly feed on insects like termites, locusts, beetles, grubs, larvae and spiders.
    • This year flea beetles, white grubs, seed corn maggots and wireworms generated a lot of discussion.
    • Insect larvae such as leatherjackets and chafer grubs, which feed on grass roots, have now reached a size and state of succulence that tempts birds to dig for them, spoiling lawns in the process.
  • 1.1A maggot or small caterpillar.
  • 2 informal Food: a popular bar serving excellent grub
    More example sentences
    • Located near to the town centre, the monastically themed bar offers traditional pub grub from 12.30 pm to 2.45 pm.
    • The CDs were handed out with fast food grub as part of a joint initiative between the two companies.
    • This year's event will include delights ranging from a First Class Food Day to an Organic and Vegetarian Day, with world food, British food and wedding grub all on the agenda, too.

verb (grubs, grubbing, grubbed)

[no object] Back to top  
  • 1Dig or poke superficially at the earth; dig shallowly in soil: the damage done to pastures by badgers grubbing for worms
    More example sentences
    • It keeps to the bottom, grubbing for insect larvae.
    • We no longer go off into the forest, hunting for our game and grubbing for roots and berries.
    • He was an illiterate village urchin grubbing around with goats and chickens till the age of 12.
    rummage, search, hunt, delve, dig, scrabble, ferret, root, rifle, fish, poke
  • 1.1 [with object] Remove (something) from the earth by digging it up: all the vines are grubbed up and the land left fallow for a few years
    More example sentences
    • I plant carrots late, just so I have lots of them for winter; if I've protected them with a mulch of hay, I can keep grubbing them out through the season.
    • Wine varieties were grubbed up and table and raisin varieties were planted in their place.
    • If a fence be an old bad one, grub it up and raise a new one.
    dig up, unearth, uproot, root up/out, pull up/out, tear out
  • 1.2 [with object] Clear (the ground) of roots and stumps: (as noun grubbing) construction operations including clearing and grubbing
    More example sentences
    • Although most farmers at the show, and later, could or would not see the benefits of such a machine, history proved him right as it made grubbing a thing of the past.
    • On the Belmead Plantation in Virginia, the women spun, cleaned the water furrows, opened the water furrows, and grubbed the land.
  • 2Search for something in a clumsy and unmethodical manner; rummage: I began grubbing about in the wastepaper basket to find the envelope
  • 2.1Do demeaning or humiliating work in order to achieve something: she has achieved material independence without having to grub for it
    More example sentences
    • It is supposed to be strictly a commerce-free zone - not exactly a public service, maybe, but also not a place to grub for the Almighty Dollar.
    • This is a clear attempt to scratch the itch of racism, homophobia and bigotry and pander to the culturally insecure in order to grub for votes.
    • He had to use a pseudonym to continue to write, and continue to write he did, for years, while William Shakespeare, whose name is used, went unwittingly on, grubbing for money in Stratford.
  • 2.2 [with object] Achieve or acquire (something) by doing demeaning work: they were grubbing a living from garbage pails
    More example sentences
    • He is a born loner used to corrupting words to grub a living.
    • If the Government is reduced to grubbing the votes of its most backward-looking, antediluvian backbenchers, then what is it in office for?
    • And it never ceases to amaze me when I see a fit woman grubbing French fries and pizza.



More example sentences
  • I like the grubber because both ends are aligned in the same direction and they are different sizes.
  • We rarely have time to relax or enjoy life… ‘cause the grubbers are attempting to train us to be like them.
  • I never really enjoyed the arcade version due to the fact that it was a huge money grubber.


Middle English: perhaps related to Dutch grobbelen, also to grave1.

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