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1. A loser or jerk. Popularized by the 1999 song "No Scrubs" by TLC. Dave was such a scrub, still living at home and unemployed in his 30s. You can do so much better than him.
2. video games Someone with very little experience or skill. I was playing against a bunch of scrubs in Call of Shooty last night. I don't think they killed me once! Boom, get wrecked, scrub! Better think twice next time you want to challenge me in Street Sweeper V!
To cancel or abort some plan or activity. We had to scrub the new office in New York after the stock market took a dive. We may have to scrub the picnic this weekend if the weather is as bad as they're predicting it will be.
See also: scrub
scrub (something) out of (something else)
To clean some substance or residue out of the inside of something very thoroughly and vigorously. You'll need to scrub all the burnt food out of the pan with a scouring pad. I've got to scrub this gunk out of my keyboard, or it might stop working altogether.
To clean away some substance or residue (from something) very thoroughly and vigorously. A noun or pronoun is used between "scrub" and "away." You'll want to scrub away all the caked-on dirt and grime before you attempt to repair your bicycle. The salt-and-sugar rub helps you scrub dirt and dead skin cells away, giving your skin a bright, healthy glow.
To wash someone or something very thoroughly and vigorously. A noun or pronoun can be used between "scrub" and "down." Make sure you scrub the kids down before they go to bed—they've been out playing in the mud all day. We'll need to scrub down the car before my parents get home, or they'll know we took it without asking.
To prepare to join a surgery by donning surgical scrubs and thoroughly washing one's hands and forearms. The hospital wants me to scrub in on the endonasal endoscopy later this afternoon.
See also: scrub
To clean away some substance or residue (from something) very thoroughly and vigorously. A noun or pronoun is used between "scrub" and "off." You should be scrubbing off all the caked-on dirt and grime from your bicycle at least once a week, or it will wear out a lot faster than it would otherwise. The salt-and-sugar rub helps you scrub dirt and dead skin cells off your body, giving your skin a bright, healthy glow.
1. To wash the inside of something very thoroughly and vigorously. A noun or pronoun can be used between "scrub" and "out." Did you scrub out the pots and pans like I asked? I've got to take this apart and scrub it out from the inside.
2. To clean some substance or residue out of the inside of something very thoroughly and vigorously. A noun or pronoun is used between "scrub" and "out"; often followed by "of (something)." You can't just leave the pot to soak overnight—you've got to scrub all the burnt food out with a scouring pad. I've got to scrub the gunk out of my keyboard, or it could end up permanently broken.
3. To erase or render illegible by scrubbing, as with a tool or writing implement. A noun or pronoun is used between "scrub" and "out." They used a file to scrub out the serial number on the stolen machine. Someone came over and scrubbed his name out with permanent marker.
scrub the data
To make computer data more uniform or accurate; to clean data up. Aw man, the files we merged are now in two jumbled styles. We'll need to scrub the data to make it usable.
To wash oneself, especially one's hands, very thoroughly with soap and water. Make sure to get your kids in the habit of scrubbing up before they eat. All surgeons must scrub up before entering the operating room.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
scrub someone or something down
to clean someone or something thoroughly by rubbing. The mother scrubbed the baby down gently and put lotion on her. Please scrub down this floor.
scrub someone or something off
to clean someone or something by rubbing. Mother scrubbed Timmy off. Liz scrubbed off the countertop.
scrub something away
to clean something away by rubbing. See if you can scrub that rust away. Scrub away that rust if you can.
scrub something off (of) somethingand scrub something off
to clean something off something by scrubbing. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) I have to scrub the mud off the porch steps. Did you scrub off all the grease?
scrub something out
to clean out the inside of something by rubbing or brushing. Please scrub these pots out and put them away. Jim will scrub out the pots.
1. Lit. to clean oneself up. You have to scrub up before dinner. Please go scrub up before you come to the table.
2. Fig. to clean oneself, especially one's hands and arms, as a preparation for performing a surgical procedure. The surgeon scrubbed up thoroughly before the operation. When you finish scrubbing up, someone will help you on with sterile clothing.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Thoroughly wash one's hands and forearms, as before performing surgery. For example, The residents had to scrub up in case they were called on to assist with the operation. [c. 1900]
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.
To wash the hands and arms thoroughly, as before performing or participating in surgery: The doctors and nurses scrubbed up before entering the operating room.
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.
tv. to cancel something. We had to scrub the whole plan because of the weather.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.