rub against

rub (up) against (someone or something)

1. To exert pressure on and move in contact with someone or something. The girl I started dating has a dog that rubs up against me whenever I go over to her house. There's a piece of metal rubbing against the tire that's causing it to wear down very quickly.
2. To exert pressure on and move something while in contact with someone or something else. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "rub" and "(up) against." Someone was rubbing their hand up against my back on the train. It made me really uncomfortable. The elephant rubbed its hindquarters against the large boulder to relieve its itching.
3. To contradict or come into conflict with someone or something. The new report, cowritten by nearly two dozen of the world's top scientists, rubs up against the government's official stance on climate change. Some people simply refuse to accept reality when it rubs up against their own personal world views.
See also: rub
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

rub (up) against someone or something

to bump or scrape against someone or something. The cat rubbed up against me and seemed friendly. The side of the car rubbed against the fence.
See also: rub

rub something against someone or something

to scrape or chafe something against someone or something repeatedly. The cat kept rubbing its tail against me. I wish John would stop rubbing his hand against my leg.
See also: rub
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
'A Turk turns his face, after washing it well, to the East, when he says his prayers; these good people, after giving their faces such a rub against the World as to take the smiles off, turn with no less regularity, to the darkest side of Heaven.
The swollen tendons and their coverings rub against the narrow fibrous tunnel on the front of the wrist through which they pass.
If these wedges get loose, the steps/tread rub against the riser making it creak.
ArmorGuard ADS-HP and ADS-HC loading dock seals feature super high abrasion resistant compound (SHARC) fabric to prevent damage from movements caused by air ride suspensions and intermodal trailers as they rub against the devices.
Host Mark Evans: "So, what are you doing with your hand?" "I'm giving him something to rub against." Your Honour.
The effect occurs when two different materials rub against each other.
Smudge loves to rub against your legs while being tickled and would happily let you do this for hours!
When cats rub against objects, other cats, dogs or people, they deposit secretions from specialized skin glands on their head--submandibular glands beneath the chin and perioral glands near the corners of the mouth."
Usually the mounting bracket screws have loosened up, making the door sag and rub against the carpet or floor.
Researchers at the School of Materials Science & Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology have discovered yet another way to harvest small amounts of electricity from motion in the world around us--this time by capturing the electrical charge produced when two different kinds of plastic materials rub against one another.
This can cause the eyelashes to grow abnormally and rub against the surface of the eye, which can cause pain, irritation and eye infections.
That's because the harness can rub against the rotating back plate of the engine's 200-amp generator.
Deer also rub against trees to remove velvet from their antlers.
The automaker is recalling the vehicle because of an improperly routed wire that can rub against metal, eventually exposing a wire that is likely to cause a short circuit and potentially start a fire.
I'd gladly rub against someone's legs for a chicken and salmon in white wine sauce dinner, but haven't been given the opportunity.