Definition of rug in English:

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Pronunciation: /rəɡ/


1A floor covering of thick woven material or animal skin, typically not extending over the entire floor.
Example sentences
  • Woven rugs often cover the floors of Uzbek houses.
  • Woven rugs covered the hardwood floor, the many rooms visible on their course quite large and possessing great amounts of valuables.
  • Though it had tried, the company had not succeeded in establishing its rugs as year-round floor coverings.
mat, carpet, runner;
hearth rug, floor cloth
1.1chiefly British A thick woolen coverlet or wrap, used especially when traveling.
Example sentences
  • When he was lowered to the ground, his box was tipped on its side to enable an emotional Blaine to stagger out wrapped in a rug.
  • But stoics take rugs, umbrellas, thick coats and bracing amounts of booze.
  • During the summer months, the light lasts well into the evening while passengers sit on deck, wrapped in rugs, marvelling at the beauty of the glaciers.
1.2 informal, chiefly North American A toupee or wig.
Example sentences
  • I hereby sentence the actors to get a haircut so they won't need to wear the bad rugs.
  • I was actually disappointed that his tresses were not the result of a bad rug.
  • One in 10 is tempted to conceal her wayward tresses under a rug when it becomes frizzy, dry, dull or takes on a life of its own.
toupee, wig, hairpiece


pull the rug (out) from under

Abruptly withdraw support from (someone): the rug was pulled right out from beneath our feet
More example sentences
  • More importantly, though, Russell's narrative pulls the rug from under us, changing our perceptions of all three characters.
  • But yesterday he effectively pulled the rug from under them by introducing 19 per cent corporation tax levy on those profits.
  • In both countries, it was the external patron whom the local regimes had relied on for protection that pulled the rug from under them.


Mid 16th century (denoting a type of coarse woolen cloth): probably of Scandinavian origin; compare with Norwegian dialect rugga 'coverlet', Swedish rugg 'ruffled hair'; related to rag1. The sense 'small carpet' dates from the early 19th century.

  • red from Old English:

    An Old English word which shares an ancient root with Latin rufus, Greek eruthros, and Sanskrit rudhira ‘red’. The colour red has traditionally been associated with radical political views, and from the 19th century particularly Communists. During the Cold War, when Americans feared reds under the bed or Communist sympathizers, the expression better dead than red was used to mean that the prospect of nuclear annihilation was preferable to that of a Communist society. The slogan was reversed by nuclear disarmament campaigners of the late 1950s as ‘better red than dead’. Something involving savage or merciless competition might be described as red in tooth and claw. The phrase came from Lord Tennyson's poem ‘In Memoriam’ (1854): ‘Nature, red in tooth and claw’. In Church calendars a saint's day or Church festival was distinguished by being written in red letters. This gives us a red letter day (early 18th century) for a pleasantly memorable, fortunate, or happy day. A less cheering use of red ink was customarily made to enter debit items and balances in accounts —which gives us in the red (early 20th century) to mean in debt or overdrawn.

    The colour red is supposed to provoke a bull, and is the colour of the cape used by matadors in bullfighting. From this we say that something will be like a red rag to a bull (late 19th century). A red herring is something, especially a clue, which misleads or distracts you. Red herrings have been around since the 15th century and got their colour from being heavily smoked to preserve them. The pungent scent was formerly used to lay a trail when training hounds to follow a scent. The red light district of a town is one with a lot of businesses concerned with sex. The phrase is from the red light traditionally used as the sign of a brothel. See also paint. People have been complaining about red tape, or excessive bureaucracy, since the 1730s. Real red or pinkish-red tape is used to bind together legal and official documents. Americans sometimes talk of not having a red cent to their name. Red got attached to the cent in the mid 19th century and refers to the colour of the copper used to make the one cent coin. Ruddy is from Old English rud, a variant form of ‘red’. The word's use as a euphemism for bloody dates from the early 20th century.

Words that rhyme with rug

bug, chug, Doug, drug, dug, fug, glug, hug, jug, lug, mug, plug, pug, shrug, slug, smug, snug, thug, trug, tug

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: rug

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