rub up against (someone or something)

rub up against (someone or something)

1. Literally, to press against someone or something and rub on them or it. The girl I started dating has a dog that rubs up against me whenever I go over to her house. The elephant started rubbing up against our jeep, making me nervous that it would tip us over. He rubbed up against a tree to scratch the itch on his back.
2. To come into conflict with someone or something. We've been rubbing up against a lot of bureaucratic red tape as we try to expand our business into Southeast Asia. The new senator has made a point of disrupting the status quo in politics, so it's not surprising that she's been rubbing up against some of the more established politicians in Congress.
See also: rub, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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