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scrub1 / skrəb/ • v. (scrubbed , scrub·bing ) [tr.] rub (someone or something) hard so as to clean them, typically with a brush and water: he had to scrub the floor she was scrubbing herself down at the sink | [intr.] she scrubbed furiously at the plates. ∎  (scrub something away/off) remove dirt by rubbing hard: it took ages to scrub off the muck. ∎  [intr.] (scrub up) thoroughly clean one's hands and arms, esp. before performing surgery: the doctor scrubbed up and put on a protective gown. ∎ inf. cancel or abandon (something): opposition leaders suggested she should scrub the trip to China. ∎  remove impurities from (gas or vapor). ∎  [intr.] (of a rider) rub the arms and legs urgently on a horse's neck and flanks to urge it to move faster. • n. 1. an act of scrubbing something or someone: give the floor a good scrub. 2. a semiabrasive cosmetic lotion applied to the face or body in order to cleanse the skin. 3. (scrubs) informal term for scrub suit. DERIVATIVES: scrub·ba·ble adj. scrub2 • n. 1. vegetation consisting mainly of brushwood or stunted forest growth. ∎  land covered with such vegetation. 2. [as adj.] denoting a shrubby or small form of a plant: scrub apple trees. ∎  denoting an animal of inferior breed or physique: a scrub bull. 3. inf. an insignificant or contemptible person. ∎  (in sports) a player not among the best or most skilled. DERIVATIVES: scrub·by adj.

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