rub off on (one)

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rub off on (one)

To have one's characteristics, mannerisms, or behavior be adopted by someone else from spending lots of time together. Peter's been very unruly lately. I think that no-good Tommy Jenkins is rubbing off on him! It seems like your boss's greed is rubbing off on you—is money all you care about now?
See also: off, on, rub

rub something off (of) something

 and rub something off
to remove something from something by rubbing. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) The butler rubbed the tarnish off the pitcher. The butler rubbed off the dark tarnish. rub something onto something and rub something on to apply something onto the surface of something by rubbing. Alice rubbed suntan lotion onto her arms and legs. Rub on some of this lotion.
See also: off, rub

rub off (on someone)

[for a characteristic of one person] to seem to transfer to someone else. I'll sit by Ann. She has been lucky all evening. Maybe it'll rub off on me. Sorry. I don't think that luck rubs off.
See also: off, rub

rub off on(to) someone or something

[for something, such as a coating] to become transferred to someone or something through the contact of rubbing. Look what rubbed off on me! The wet paint rubbed off onto my pants leg.
See also: off, on, rub

rub off on

Become transferred to another, influence through close contact, as in We hoped some of their good manners would rub off on our children. This idiom alludes to transferring something like paint to another substance by rubbing against it. [Mid-1900s]
See also: off, on, rub

rub off

v.
1. To remove or erase something from a surface by or as if by rubbing: The mechanic grabbed a rag and rubbed off the grease. Don't scrub too hard, or you'll rub the paint off the car.
2. To be removed or be capable of being removed from a surface by rubbing: The ink on the table won't rub off. The newsprint rubbed off on my fingers.
3. To pass from one person to another through direct association, as of a quality: We hope some of her enthusiasm rubs off. I'm glad to see their good manners have rubbed off on you.
See also: off, rub
References in classic literature ?
asked the boy, trying to look sober while his black eyes shone with fun.
The novice in the military art flew from point to point, retarding his own preparations by the excess of his violent and somewhat distempered zeal; while the more practiced veteran made his arrangements with a deliberation that scorned every appearance of haste; though his sober lineaments and anxious eye sufficiently betrayed that he had no very strong professional relish for the, as yet, untried and dreaded warfare of the wilderness.
Young men who, drunk or sober, spent the firm's money on women who disappeared before sunrise did not appeal to him.
My sober occupation, so far as I have any, is with a lighter material.
A large number -- and many of these were persons of such sober sense and practical observation that their opinions would have been valuable in other matters -- affirmed that Roger Chillingworth's aspect had undergone a remarkable change while he had dwelt in town, and especially since his abode with Mr.
The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.
I observed, however, that one of them held somewhat aloof, and though he seemed desirous not to spoil the hilarity of his shipmates by his own sober face, yet upon the whole he refrained from making as much noise as the rest.
His face was an exceedingly round but sober one; he was dressed in a faded blue woollen frock or shirt, and patched trowsers; and had thus far been dividing his attention between a marlingspike he held in one hand, and a pill-box held in the other, occasionally casting a critical glance at the ivory limbs of the two crippled captains.
I only wish all the drunkards could be put in a lunatic asylum instead of being allowed to run foul of sober people.
That was Sunday morning, and Monday night Jurgis came home, sober and sick, realizing that he had spent every cent the family owned, and had not bought a single instant's forgetfulness with it.
She was dressed, like Rachel, in sober gray, with the muslin folded neatly across her round, plump little chest.
He's the best natured- est old fool in Arkansaw -- never hurt nobody, drunk nor sober.
Even a sober person does not like to have a human being emptied on him when he is not going any harm; a person who is not sober cannot endure such an attention at all.
Carton, who smelt of port wine, and did not appear to be quite sober, laughed then, and turned to Darnay:
It was after the early supper-time at the Red House, and the entertainment was in that stage when bashfulness itself had passed into easy jollity, when gentlemen, conscious of unusual accomplishments, could at length be prevailed on to dance a hornpipe, and when the Squire preferred talking loudly, scattering snuff, and patting his visitors' backs, to sitting longer at the whist-table--a choice exasperating to uncle Kimble, who, being always volatile in sober business hours, became intense and bitter over cards and brandy, shuffled before his adversary's deal with a glare of suspicion, and turned up a mean trump-card with an air of inexpressible disgust, as if in a world where such things could happen one might as well enter on a course of reckless profligacy.