rub off(redirected from rub something off)
1. To remove something by rubbing. A noun or pronoun can be used between "rub" and "off." Just rub off Tommy's name and no one will ever know that you stole the book from him. A: "Do you know how hard it is to rub crayon off the walls?" B: "Is that a hint that I won't be babysitting the kids anymore?"
2. Of a person or their behavior, to influence or begin to be emulated by someone. Peter's been very unruly lately. I think that new kid is rubbing off on him. Sam's laziness must be rubbing off, because it seems like everyone on his team has been slacking lately.
rub off on (someone)
To have one's characteristics, mannerisms, or behavior be adopted by someone with whom one has spent a lot of time. Peter's been very unruly lately. I think that new kid is rubbing off on him. It seems like your boss's greed is rubbing off on you—is money all you care about now?
rub something off (of) somethingand 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.
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.
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.