the thick-bodied, sluggish larva of several insects, as of a scarab beetle.
a dull, plodding person; drudge.
an unkempt person.
Slang. food; victuals.
any remaining roots or stumps after cutting vegetation to clear land for farming.
verb (used with object), grubbed, grubbing.
to dig; clear of roots, stumps, etc.
to dig up by the roots; uproot (often followed by up or out ).
Slang. to supply with food; feed.
Slang. to scrounge: to grub a cigarette.
verb (used without object), grubbed, grubbing.
to dig; search by or as if by digging: We grubbed through piles of old junk to find the deed.
to lead a laborious or groveling life; drudge: It's wonderful to have money after having to grub for so many years.
to engage in laborious study.
Slang. to eat; take food.

1250–1300; Middle English grubbe (noun), grubben (v.); akin to Old High German grubilōn to dig, German grübeln to rack (the brain), Old Norse gryfia hole, pit; see grave1, groove

grubber, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
grub (ɡrʌb)
vb (when tr, often foll by up or out) , grubs, grubbing, grubbed
1.  to search for and pull up (roots, stumps, etc) by digging in the ground
2.  to dig up the surface of (ground, soil, etc), esp to clear away roots, stumps, etc
3.  (intr; often foll by in or among) to search carefully
4.  (intr) to work unceasingly, esp at a dull task or research
5.  slang to provide (a person) with food or (of a person) to take food
6.  slang chiefly (US) (tr) to scrounge: to grub a cigarette
7.  the short legless larva of certain insects, esp beetles
8.  slang food; victuals
9.  a person who works hard, esp in a dull plodding way
10.  informal (Brit) a dirty child
[C13: of Germanic origin; compare Old High German grubilōn to dig, German grübeln to rack one's brain, Middle Dutch grobben to scrape together; see grave³, groove]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, from hypothetical O.E. *grubbian, from W.Gmc. *grubbjan (cf. O.H.G. grubilon "to dig, search," Ger. grübeln "to meditate, ponder"), from P.Gmc. *grub- "to dig," base of O.E. grafan (see grave (v.)). The noun sense of "larva" (c.1400) is perhaps from the notion
of "digging insect," or from the possibly unrelated M.E. grub "dwarfish fellow." The slang sense of "food" is first recorded 1659, said to be from birds eating grubs, but also often linked with bub "drink." Grubby is c.1845, from grub (n.) in a sense of "dirty child," who presumably got that way from digging in earth.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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