See also: груб


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From hypothetical Old English *grubbian, from Proto-Germanic *grubb- (compare Old High German grubilōn (to dig, search), German grübeln (to meditate, ponder)), from Proto-Germanic *grub- (to dig). The noun sense of "larva" (c. 1400) may derive from the notion of "digging insect" or from the possibly unrelated Middle English grub (dwarfish fellow). The slang sense of "food" is first recorded 1659, and has been linked with birds eating grubs or with bub (drink)."


  • IPA(key): /ɡɹʌb/
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  • Rhymes: -ʌb


grub (countable and uncountable, plural grubs)

An immature beetle
  1. (countable) An immature stage in the life cycle of an insect; a larva.
    Synonym: larva
  2. (uncountable, slang) Food.
    • 1958, Anthony Burgess, The Enemy in the Blanket (The Malayan Trilogy), published 1972, page 298:
      "The rice ration's down to nearly damn-all in the kampongs, but we keep finding dumps of grub in the forest."
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:food
  3. (obsolete) A short, thick man; a dwarf.
    • 1602, Richard Carew, Survey of Cornwall
      John Romane, a short clownish grub, would bear the whole carcase of an ox, yet never tugged with him.
  4. (Australia, slang) A dirty person.
  5. (Australia, slang) A despicable person; a lowlife.

Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See alsoEdit


grub (third-person singular simple present grubs, present participle grubbing, simple past and past participle grubbed)

  1. To scavenge or in some way scrounge, typically for food.
  2. (transitive, intransitive) To dig; to dig up by the roots; to root out by digging; often followed by up.
    to grub up trees, rushes, or sedge
    • 1846, Julius Hare, The Mission of the Comforter
      They do not attempt to grub up the root of sin.
    • 1898, J. Meade Falkner, Moonfleet Chapter 4
      Yet there was no time to be lost if I was ever to get out alive, and so I groped with my hands against the side of the grave until I made out the bottom edge of the slab, and then fell to grubbing beneath it with my fingers.
  3. (slang, dated, transitive) To supply with food.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Charles Dickens to this entry?)
  4. (slang, dated) To eat.





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  1. singular past imperfect of graben



From Proto-Slavic *grǫbъ.



grȗb (definite grȗbī, comparative grȕbljī, Cyrillic spelling гру̑б)

  1. rough, coarse
  2. rude