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scrub1

[skruhb] /skrʌb/
verb (used with object), scrubbed, scrubbing.
1.
to rub hard with a brush, cloth, etc., or against a rough surface in washing.
2.
to subject to friction; rub.
3.
to remove (dirt, grime, etc.) from something by hard rubbing while washing.
4.
Chemistry. to remove (impurities or undesirable components) from a gas by chemical means, as sulfur dioxide from smokestack gas or carbon dioxide from exhaled air in life-support packs.
5.
to cancel or postpone (a space flight or part of a mission):
Ground control scrubbed the spacewalk.
6.
Slang. to do away with; cancel:
Scrub your vacation plans—there's work to do!
verb (used without object), scrubbed, scrubbing.
7.
to cleanse something by hard rubbing.
8.
to cleanse one's hands and arms as a preparation to performing or assisting in surgery (often followed by up).
noun
9.
an act or instance of scrubbing.
10.
a canceled or postponed space flight, launching, scheduled part of a space mission, etc.
11.
something, as a cosmetic preparation, used for scrubbing.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English scrobben (noun) < Middle Dutch schrobben
Related forms
scrubbable, adjective
nonscrubbable, adjective

scrub2

[skruhb] /skrʌb/
noun
1.
low trees or shrubs collectively.
2.
a large area covered with low trees and shrubs, as the Australian bush.
3.
a domestic animal of mixed or inferior breeding; mongrel.
4.
a small or insignificant person.
5.
anything undersized or inferior.
6.
Sports. a player not belonging to the varsity or regular team; a player who is not first-string.
adjective
7.
small, undersized, or stunted.
8.
inferior or insignificant.
9.
abounding in or covered with low trees and shrubs:
They rode through scrub country.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English < Scandinavian; compare dialectal Danish skrub brushwood; see shrub1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for scrub
  • Wash the mussels well and scrub the shells with a brush.
  • But on occasion rescue teams arrive on scene in time to scrub the birds' feathers clean and prevent calamity.
  • Once the water cools, plunge the silver pieces into warm, soapy water and scrub with a clean cloth.
  • Wash and scrub with a brush two quarts clams, changing water several times.
  • Wash and scrub with a brush one-half peck clams, changing the water several times.
  • scrub, peel and/or clean the vegetables you have selected.
  • Nor did they have what one would need to clean a toilet-disinfectant, a scrub brush, gloves.
  • She also was able to scrub in to observe medical procedures.
  • Sometimes they shift into forms of ostriches and run out over the desert scrub.
  • Add a small amount of the soft scrub mixture to a microfiber cleaning cloth and scrub sinks, tile and bathroom fixtures.
British Dictionary definitions for scrub

scrub1

/skrʌb/
verb scrubs, scrubbing, scrubbed
1.
to rub (a surface) hard, with or as if with a brush, soap, and water, in order to clean it
2.
to remove (dirt), esp by rubbing with a brush and water
3.
(intransitive) foll by up. (of a surgeon) to wash the hands and arms thoroughly before operating
4.
(transitive) to purify (a vapour or gas) by removing impurities
5.
(transitive) (informal) to delete or cancel
6.
(intransitive) (horse racing, slang) (of jockeys) to urge a horse forwards by moving the arms and whip rhythmically forwards and backwards alongside its neck
noun
7.
the act of or an instance of scrubbing
See also scrub round
Word Origin
C14: from Middle Low German schrubben, or Middle Dutch schrobben

scrub2

/skrʌb/
noun
1.
  1. vegetation consisting of stunted trees, bushes, and other plants growing in an arid area
  2. (as modifier) scrub vegetation
2.
an area of arid land covered with such vegetation
3.
  1. an animal of inferior breeding or condition
  2. (as modifier) a scrub bull
4.
a small or insignificant person
5.
anything stunted or inferior
6.
(sport, US & Canadian) a player not in the first team
7.
(Austral, informal) the scrub, a remote place, esp one where contact with people can be avoided
adjective
8.
small, stunted, or inferior
9.
(sport, US & Canadian)
  1. (of a player) not in the first team
  2. (of a team) composed of such players
  3. (of a contest) between scratch or incomplete teams
Word Origin
C16: variation of shrub1
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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Word Origin and History for scrub
v.

"rub hard," early 15c., earlier shrubben (c.1300), perhaps from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German schrubben "to scrub," or from an unrecorded Old English cognate, or from a Scandinavian source (cf. Danish skrubbe "to scrub"), probably ultimately from the Proto-Germanic root of shrub, used as a cleaning tool (cf. the evolution of broom, brush (n.1)).

Meaning "to cancel" is attested from 1828 (popularized during World War II with reference to flights), probably from notion of "to rub out, erase" an entry on a listing. Related: Scrubbed; scrubbing.

n.

late 14c., "low, stunted tree," variant of shrobbe (see shrub), perhaps influenced by a Scandinavian word (cf. Danish dialectal skrub "a stunted tree, brushwood"). Collective sense "brush, shrubs" is attested from 1805. As an adjective from 1710. Scrub oak recorded from 1766.

Transferred sense of "mean, insignificant fellow" is from 1580s; U.S. sports meaning "athlete not on the varsity team" is recorded from 1892, probably from this, but cf. scrub "hard-working servant, drudge" (1709), perhaps from influence of scrub (v.).

"act of scrubbing," 1620s, from scrub (v.). Meaning "thing that is used in scrubbing" is from 1680s.

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

scrub 1

verb

To cancel or eliminate: They were forced to scrub the whole plan

[1828+; popularized by military use during World War II]


scrub 2

noun
  1. A contemptible person; bum: Ed is a scrub (1589+)
  2. An athlete who is not on the first or varsity team; a lowly substitute (1892+)

[ultimately fr scrub, ''shrub, a low, stunted tree''; the quoted 1990s teenager use is an interesting survival or perhaps a revival based on the second sense]


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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Encyclopedia Article for scrub

heathland

diverse assortment of vegetation types sharing the common physical characteristic of dominance by shrubs. A shrub is defined as a woody plant not exceeding 5 metres (16.4 feet) in height if it has a single main stem, or 8 metres if it is multistemmed. The world's main areas of scrubland occur in regions that have a Mediterranean climate-i.e., warm temperate, with mild, wet winters and long, dry summers. These areas include southern Australia, the Mediterranean region, California, Chile, and South Africa. Other scrublands are found in the semiarid tropics and in the Arctic, but smaller areas also occur in many other places. Australia, primarily because of its dry, variable climates, probably has the greatest expanse and range of scrublands. Their distribution is shown in

Learn more about heathland with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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