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To stroke, rub, or massage someone's or an animal's body. A noun or pronoun can be used between "rub" and "down." Make sure you rub down the horses after the guests are back from their rides. My husband offered to rub me down after I came home from running the marathon.
rub (someone or an animal) down
to stroke or massage someone or an animal, for muscular well-being. Sam rubbed his horse down after his ride. He rubbed down his horse.
Briskly rub the body, as in a massage. For example, The trainer rubs down marathon runners, or That horse needs rubbing down. This expression was first used (and still is) for rubbing away dust and sweat from a horse. [Late 1600s]
1. To rub someone or something thoroughly in order to dry, polish, or coat the surface: I stepped out of the shower and rubbed myself down with a towel. Grab that towel and help me rub down the car. I rubbed down the top of the table with sandpaper. I rubbed myself down with suntan lotion.
2. To massage someone or something thoroughly: The trainer rubbed the boxer down after the match. The hotel masseuse can rub down 20 tourists a day.
3. To work something, such as seasoning, into food by rubbing: It's best to rub the meat down with pepper before cooking. Rub down the surface of the bread with garlic.