Open main menu


English Wikipedia has an article on:


From hypothetical Old English root *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, has been linked with birds eating grubs or with bub (drink)."


  • IPA(key): /ɡɹʌb/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • 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.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:food
  3. (obsolete) A short, thick man; a dwarf.
    • Richard Carew, The 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

Related 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.


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
    • Hare
      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. But the earth, which the day before had looked light and loamy to the eye, was stiff and hard enough when one came to tackle it with naked hands, and in an hour's time I had done little more than further weary myself and bruise 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.





  • (file)



  1. singular past imperfect of graben



From Proto-Slavic *grǫbъ.



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

  1. rough, coarse
  2. rude