Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to rubber: plastic
A written order to a bank for a certain amount of funds that has been dishonored because such funds are not available in the account in question. "Rubber" here is a play on the bouncing of a check. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. My ex-husband has been writing rubber checks all across the state.
To drive extremely quickly in a rubber-wheeled vehicle, especially a car. A reference to car tires which, if accelerated too quickly on pavement, can heat to the point of producing smoke and tire tracks. We're going to be late for the party, let's burn rubber!
slang A condom. Primarily heard in UK, Ireland. Remember, mate: only a fool doesn't wear a rubber johnny on a one-night stand. In an effort to promote safe sexual practices, the student union began handing our rubber johnnies to everyone passing by.
An aviation term among pilots and airline crew for the effect created when the rubber oxygen masks in a commercial aircraft deploy from its ceiling. Everyone started to panic when the rubber jungle appeared, so I had to reassure them that it was just a minor hiccup and that we were all perfectly safe.
rubber chicken dinner
A dinner served at a large catered event, especially a political or corporate fundraising event, in which many people must be served simultaneously and the quality of food suffers as a result. ("Rubber chicken" is sometimes hyphenated.) I'll tell you, though: more than the long hours on the road, the repetitive speeches, or the manic workload, I cannot stand the rubber chicken dinners when I'm on the campaign trail. We really wanted to throw the whole "rubber-chicken dinner" association out the window for our next charity drive, so we've partnered with a local co-op kitchen to bring fresh, home-cooked meals to the table.
slang A room in which the walls are padded. It is typically found in psychiatric institutions, where it houses one who is not mentally stable, in an effort to prevent self-harm. That patient kept banging her head against the wall, so she is now in a rubber room for her own safety.
1. slang An eraser, whether or not it is made from genuine rubber. Primarily heard in UK, Australia, Ireland. Mark, pass me a rubber, will you? I got these calculations all bollocksed up.
2. slang A condom. Primarily heard in US. Always remember to wear a rubber, bro.
1. verb To approve of something without careful consideration of it. Please don't rubber stamp these applications—check each one thoroughly
2. noun One who approves of something without careful consideration of it. Oh, Joel is just a rubber stamp—I doubt he has strong feelings about this issue one way or another.
3. noun The act of approving something in such a manner. Who cares what that proposal actually says? It just needs a rubber stamp.
lay (some) rubber
Sl. to spin one's car tires when accelerating, leaving black marks on the street. At that age all they want to do is get in the car and lay some rubber. You wanna know how well I can lay some rubber in this thing?
where the rubber meets the road
Fig. at the point in a process where there are challenges, issues, or problems. Now we have spelled out the main area of dissent. This is where the rubber meets the road.
Drive very fast, as in We'll have to burn rubber to get there in time. In this bit of automotive jargon, the rubber refers to tires that heat up when they rotate suddenly at great speed. [Slang; mid-1900s]
A check drawn on an account without the funds to pay it, as in He's been handing out rubber checks right and left, but the police have caught up with him . The rubber alludes to the fact that, like rubber, the check "bounces," in this case back from the bank. [Slang; c. 1920]
A person or organization that automatically approves or endorses a policy without assessing its merit; also, such an approval or endorsement. For example, The nominating committee is merely a rubber stamp; they approve anyone the chairman names , or The dean gave his rubber stamp to the recommendations of the tenure committee. This metaphoric term alludes to the rubber printing device used to imprint the same words over and over. [Early 1900s]
burn rubberdrive very quickly. informal
1998 Times Monsanto is burning rubber on a racetrack to become world leader in life sciences.
rubber chequea cheque that is returned unpaid. informal humorous
The expression plays on the idea of a cheque that ‘bounces’, or is unpaid because there are insufficient funds in the drawer's account to cover it.
tv. to run a car engine so fast that one spins the tires so that rubber is left on the street. (see also lay (some) rubber.) When George was at the age when the greatest thrill was burning rubber, he began to shave once a week.
lay (some) rubber
tv. to spin one’s car tires when accelerating, leaving black marks on the street. (see also burn rubber.) At that age all they want to do is get in the car and lay some rubber.
See lay some rubber
1. n. automobile tires; the rubber of automobile tires left on the street from spinning tires. The rubber on my car is practically ruined.
2. Go to rubber (check).
3. n. a condom. He always carries a rubber “just in case.”
n. a check that bounces; a forged check. (see also bounce.) The bank says I wrote a rubber check, but I’m sure there was enough money on deposit.
See rubber check
n. a timid person; a passive and compliant person. Come on! Stand up for your rights. Don’t be such a rubber sock!
To accelerate a motor vehicle suddenly from a stop so that the wheels spin rapidly.
where the rubber meets the road
Where the practical reality or crucial test is: "The sales effort is where the rubber meets the road in every competitive business" (Brian Tracy).