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grub

[gruhb] /grʌb/
noun
1.
the thick-bodied, sluggish larva of several insects, as of a scarab beetle.
2.
a dull, plodding person; drudge.
3.
an unkempt person.
4.
Slang. food; victuals.
5.
any remaining roots or stumps after cutting vegetation to clear land for farming.
verb (used with object), grubbed, grubbing.
6.
to dig; clear of roots, stumps, etc.
7.
to dig up by the roots; uproot (often followed by up or out).
8.
Slang. to supply with food; feed.
9.
Slang. to scrounge:
to grub a cigarette.
verb (used without object), grubbed, grubbing.
10.
to dig; search by or as if by digging:
We grubbed through piles of old junk to find the deed.
11.
to lead a laborious or groveling life; drudge:
It's wonderful to have money after having to grub for so many years.
12.
to engage in laborious study.
13.
Slang. to eat; take food.
Origin of grub
1250-1300
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
Related forms
grubber, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for grubbers
Historical Examples
  • This was a long chance to take, but it was the only way to contact the grubbers.

    Deathworld Harry Harrison
  • He knew nothing about the grubbers, but they were human so he still had a chance.

    Deathworld Harry Harrison
  • Others could have followed their example—this might explain how the community of "grubbers" had been formed.

    Deathworld Harry Harrison
  • The only thing offered that morning was by a man in the Riverside Building who wanted ten grubbers.

    Broke Edwin A. Brown
  • He had been in such a hurry to reach the city that he had forgotten about the grubbers.

    Deathworld Harry Harrison
  • The grubbers had managed to work out a truce of some kind with at least one form of animal life.

    Deathworld Harry Harrison
  • The city Pyrrans hated the "grubbers" and, without a doubt, the feeling was mutual.

    Deathworld Harry Harrison
  • Immediately the word comes to "dig in" the men get out their entrenching tools or "grubbers" and set to work.

    The Red Watch J. A. Currie
British Dictionary definitions for grubbers

grub

/ɡrʌb/
verb grubs, grubbing, grubbed
1.
when tr, often foll by up or out. 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.
(intransitive; often foll by in or among) to search carefully
4.
(intransitive) 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.
(transitive) (slang, mainly US) to scrounge: to grub a cigarette
noun
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.
(Brit, informal) a dirty child
Word Origin
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for grubbers
noun

See grubbies

Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin and History for grubbers

grub

v.

c.1300, from hypothetical Old English *grubbian, from West Germanic *grubbjan (cf. Middle Dutch grobben, Old High German grubilon "to dig, search," German grübeln "to meditate, ponder"), from Proto-Germanic *grub- "to dig," base of Old English grafan (see grave (v.)).

n.

"larva," early 15c., perhaps from grub (v.) on the notion of "digging insect," or from the possibly unrelated Middle English grub "dwarfish fellow" (c.1400). Meaning "dull drudge" is 1650s. The slang sense of "food" is first recorded 1650s, said to be from birds eating grubs, but also often linked with bub "drink."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for grubbers

grubbies

noun

Older, worn-out clothes, esp worn for hanging out or doing dirty work: Wear grubbies for the archaeology dig

grub

noun

Food: goods one can exchange at the kitchen door for grub/ nonchalantly gobble up mounds of this grub (1659+)

verb

: Come over and grub with us (Black)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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13
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