Rubber vs Rub - What's the difference?

rubber | rub |

Rubber is a derived term of rub.

As nouns the difference between rubber and rub

is that rubber is (uncountable) pliable material derived from the sap of the rubber tree; a hydrocarbon polymer of isoprene or rubber can be (sports) a series of an odd number of games or matches of which a majority must be won (thus precluding a tie) while rub is an act of rubbing.

As a verb rub is

to move one object while maintaining contact with another object over some area.



(wikipedia rubber)

Etymology 1

The substance was originally named for its ability to function as an eraser. The senses not having to do with rubbing or erasing are secondarily derived from the name of the substance.


  • (uncountable) Pliable material derived from the sap of the rubber tree; a hydrocarbon polymer of isoprene.
  • (uncountable, countable) Synthetic materials with the same properties as natural rubber.
  • (countable, UK) An eraser.
  • * 2006 , Lisa Kervin, Research for Educators , page 148,
  • For example, they may use paddle pop sticks, hand span, pencils, rubbers , mathematics equipment (i.e. base 10 material) or anything else the teacher can find to measure the lengths of nominated objects.
  • * 2010 , Anna Jacobs, Beyond the Sunset , unnumbered page,
  • Drawing materials,'' he thought, ''I used to love drawing as a lad. I can afford some plain paper and pencils, surely? And a rubber''', too.'' He smiled at the memory of an elderly uncle, also fond of drawing, who?d always called ' rubbers ‘lead eaters’.
  • * 2011 , Patrick Lindsay, The Spirit of the Digger , Revised edition, unnumbered page,
  • Stan stole a diary and some pens, pencils, ink and rubbers during his early days as a POW working on the Singapore docks.
  • (countable, North America, slang) A condom.
  • Not covered by funds on account.
  • (countable) Someone or something which rubs.
  • * 1949 , LIFE (11 July 1949, page 21)
  • What perplexity plagues the chin-rubber in the foreground and what so discourages the man leaning on the lamp post? And to what doom is the large man at right moving? Photographer Cowherd has no answers.
  • (countable, baseball) The rectangular pad on the pitcher's mound from which the pitcher must pitch.
  • Jones toes the rubber and then fires to the plate.
  • (North America, in the plural) Water resistant shoe covers, galoshes, overshoes.
  • Johnny, don't forget your rubbers today.
  • (uncountable, slang) Tires, particularly racing tires.
  • Jones enters the pits to get new rubber .
    * (condom) see .
    Derived terms
    * rubber band * rubber bullet * rubberize * rubber johnny * rubber jungle * rubber plant * rubber policeman * rubber room * rubber tree * rubbery

    Etymology 2

    Origin unknown.


    (en noun)
  • (sports) A series of an odd number of games or matches of which a majority must be won (thus precluding a tie), especially a match consisting of the best of a series of three games in bridge or whist.
  • * 1907 May 25, in The Publishers' Weekly , number 1843, page 1608 []:
  • an old lady's innocent rubber .
  • (sports) A game or match played to break a tie.
  • The game of rubber bridge.
  • "Still, I confess that I miss my rubber'. It is the first Saturday night for seven-and-twenty years that I have not had my ' rubber ." "I think you will find that you will play for a higher stake to-night than you have ever done yet, and that the play will be more exciting."
    See also
    * burn rubber * dead rubber

    Etymology 3


    (en verb)
  • To eavesdrop on a telephone call
  • :
  • 1000 English basic words ----




    (en noun)
  • An act of rubbing.
  • Give that lamp a good rub and see if any genies come out
  • A difficulty or problem.
  • Therein lies the rub .
  • * III.i.71-75
  • To die, to sleep—/To sleep—perchance to dream. Ay, there's the rub !/For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,/When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,/Must give us pause
  • * , Episode 16
  • ...the propriety of the cabman's shelter, as it was called, hardly a stonesthrow away near Butt bridge where they might hit upon some drinkables in the shape of a milk and soda or a mineral. But how to get there was the rub .
  • In the game of crown green bowls: any obstacle by which a bowl is diverted from its normal course.
  • A mixture of spices applied to meat before it is barbecued.
  • Verb

  • To move (one object) while maintaining contact with another object over some area, with pressure and friction.
  • * , chapter=7
  • , title= The Mirror and the Lamp , passage=“[…] This is Mr. Churchill, who, as you are aware, is good enough to come to us for his diaconate, and, as we hope, for much longer; and being a gentleman of independent means, he declines to take any payment.” Saying this Walden rubbed his hands together and smiled contentedly.}}
  • To rub something against (a second thing).
  • * Sir T. Elyot
  • It shall be expedient, after that body is cleaned, to rub the body with a coarse linen cloth.
  • To be rubbed against something.
  • To spread a substance thinly over; to smear.
  • meat rubbed with spices before barbecuing
  • * Milton
  • The smoothed plank, / New rubbed with balm.
  • (dated) To move or pass with difficulty.
  • To scour; to burnish; to polish; to brighten; to cleanse; often with up'' or ''over .
  • to rub up silver
  • * South
  • The whole business of our redemption is to rub over the defaced copy of the creation.
  • To hinder; to cross; to thwart.
  • * Shakespeare
  • 'Tis the duke's pleasure, / Whose disposition, all the world well knows, / Will not be rubbed nor stopped.

    Derived terms

    * rubber * rubbing * rub elbows * rub in * rub it in * rub out * rub off * rub shoulders * rub up * rub up on


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