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1. To cause some substance to be absorbed into something else with vigorous rubbing. (In each usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "rub" and "in.") You'll want to rub in the ointment when your skin is clean and dry. Spread some of the leather conditioner onto the top of your shoe and then rub it in by hand.
2. To make someone feel worse about an already bad, unpleasant, or undesirable situation or outcome. A: "You know that this means you won't get to qualify for the state championships, right?" B: "Sheesh, no need to rub it in, Dave." Why do you always rub in my problems at work whenever we get into an argument?
3. To flaunt one's success or good fortune in order to make someone else jealous. She loves rubbing in the fact that she got promoted before me. Yes, I know you're going to Japan with the money you won in the lottery—you don't need to rub it in!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
rub something in
Fig. to keep reminding one of one's failures; to nag someone about something. I like to rub it in. You deserve it! Why do you have to rub in everything I do wrong?
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Also, rub it in. Harp on something, especially an unpleasant matter, as in She always rubs in the fact that she graduated with honors and I didn't, or I know I forgot your birthday, but don't keep rubbing it in. This idiom alludes to the expression rub salt into a wound, an action that makes the wound more painful; it dates from medieval times and remains current. [Mid-1800s] Also see rub someone's nose in it.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To work something into a surface by rubbing: I put lotion on my hands and rubbed it in. Don't try to clean the shirt now—you will only rub in the stain.
2. To talk deliberately and excessively about something unpleasant in order to make another person feel bad: She always rubs in the fact that she has more money than me. I know I made a mistake—there's no need to rub it in.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.