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American English: /rəb/
British English: /rʌb/

Translation of rub in Spanish:

transitive verb present participle rubbing past tense, past participle rubbed

  • 1 (with hand, finger)
    (massage) masajear
    she rubbed the glass clean
    frotó el cristal hasta que quedó limpio
    don't rub your eye!
    no te restriegues or refriegues el ojo
    to rub one's hands together they will be rubbing their hands together (with glee) as they watch their shares soar
    estarán frotándose las manos al ver cómo suben sus acciones
    rub the oil into your skin
    frótese (la piel) or hágase fricciones con el aceite
    rub the cream on your skin
    aplíquese frotando la crema en la piel
    rub the fat into the flour
    mezclar la grasa y la harina con los dedos
    rub your hair dry with this towel
    sécate el pelo con esta toalla
    not to have two farthings or halfpennies or pennies to rub together (British) to rub somebody the wrong way (US)
    caerle mal a alguien
    Example sentences
    • Jerry Davis shook his head with a grim set to his firm jaw, rubbing the back of his neck with his large, callused hand.
    • It is important not to just rub the skin over the area but to apply firm downward pressure with the thumb, knuckle or elbow.
    • Julia has her arms crossed and she rubs them, obviously cold.
    Example sentences
    • She swallowed hard and moved, rubbing the cloth over a greasy part of the counter yet to be attended to in her study.
    • She moved away from the wall and rubbed a hand over her face.
    • She found herself twirling her brown hair around her fingertips and rubbing the toe of her shoe on the floor.
  • 2 (clean, polish) she rubbed the silver until it shone
    frotó la plata hasta que quedó reluciente
    Example sentences
    • Next, a mixture of fine sea salt, cocoa, vitamin C and Chocolate Body Syrup is rubbed into the skin.
    • The ointment must be rubbed into the area, not just applied superficially.
    • At the time, a cream like substance was being rubbed onto my scalp.

intransitive verb present participle rubbing past tense, past participle rubbed

  • to rub against/on somethingthese shoes rub against or on my heels
    estos zapatos me rozan los talones
    the cat rubbed against my legs
    el gato se me restregó contra las piernas


  • 1 1.1 (act) he gave his knee a good rub
    se frotó bien la rodilla
    give your hair a quick rub
    sécate un poco el pelo con la toalla
    give my feet a rub
    masajéame los pies
    1.2 (polish) give it a rub to make it shine
    frótalo (con un paño) para sacarle brillo
  • 2 (difficulty) the rub
    el problema
    there's the rub
    ahí está el problema
    esa es la cuestión

Phrasal verbs

rub along

verb + adverb (British)
1 (get on) we rub along (together)
nos llevamos bastante bien
2 (manage) how are you? — I'm rubbing along
¿qué tal estás? — voy tirando [colloquial]

rub down

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object
rub yourself down well with a towel
séquese bien frotándose or dándose fricciones con una toalla
2 (sandpaper)

rub in

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object
aplicar frotando
rub in the butter
mezcle la mantequilla deshaciéndola con los dedos
to rub it in
refregarle algo a alguien por la nariz or las narices
there's no need to rub it in!
no hace falta que me ( or se etc. ) lo refriegues por la nariz or las narices

rub off

1verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object
quitar frotando or restregando or refregando
(from blackboard) (British)
2verb + adverb 2.1 (come off)
salir (al frotar)
2.2 (wear off)

rub off on

verb + adverb + preposition + object
I keep hoping his luck will rub off on me
vivo con la esperanza de que se me contagie su suerte
vivo con la esperanza de que se me pegue su suerte [colloquial]
their good manners haven't rubbed off on you
a ti no se te han contagiado sus buenos modales
a ti no se te han pegado sus buenos modales [colloquial]

rub out

1verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object 1.1 (remove)
sacar (esp Latin America)
1.2 (kill) (US) [slang]
pasaportar [slang]
liquidar [colloquial]
2verb + adverb
(writing/ink) (esp British)

rub up

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object
sacarle brillo a
sacarle brillo a
to rub somebody up the wrong way
caerle mal a alguien

rub up against

verb + adverb + preposition + object
frotarse or restregarse contra
2 (meet) [colloquial]
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