Main definitions of rubber in English

: rubber1rubber2

rubber1

noun

  • 1mass noun A tough elastic polymeric substance made from the latex of a tropical plant or synthetically.

    ‘heat and sunlight may cause rubber to deteriorate’
    as modifier ‘a rubber dinghy’
    ‘a rubber plantation’
    • ‘This bouncy rubber was surprisingly tough stuff.’
    • ‘To avoid rounding over the corners use a hard rubber or wooden sanding block, not a power sander.’
    • ‘I was shocked to see that it had rubber tires rather than steel wheels.’
    • ‘Wear shoes with soft leather tops and flexible crepe or foam rubber soles.’
    • ‘The company specializes in handcrafted, original woodblock rubber stamps.’
    • ‘I fixed it with rubber elastic bands to reduce vibrations and noise.’
    • ‘Using a rubber spatula, fold in the oats, apricots, and pistachios.’
    • ‘When working with any finish, open windows and wear a respirator and latex or rubber gloves.’
    • ‘Many of the ailments were caused by the ammonia that is added to rubber latex mixture to keep it liquid.’
    • ‘Many of those rescued had been blown out to sea on rubber dinghies.’
    • ‘Often, parents or caregivers are not aware of the risk of sensitivity to natural rubber latex.’
    • ‘The bands are basically thick rubber tubing that is colour-coded to various levels of strength.’
    • ‘Mikki was explaining the details while messing about with a small electric pump and ten feet of black rubber tubing.’
    • ‘I use synthetic rubber almost exclusively, and it's certainly soft and pliable.’
    • ‘The range mats are made of hard black rubber strips that resemble the insides of tires.’
    • ‘You should wear eye goggles, a mask over your nose and mouth, and rubber or latex gloves.’
    • ‘Lifesavers have issued a stark safety warning after a family's frolics ended in the desperate rescue of a small child whose rubber dinghy was swept out to sea.’
    • ‘One advantage of this material is that it is more resistant to alcohols than natural rubber latex and vinyl.’
    • ‘Recently, a coworker told me that there is an alternative to conventional rubber latex that is not a synthetic product.’
    • ‘You can have any message stamped over the rubber band bracelets, or designs crafted on them.’
  • 2British A piece of rubber used for erasing pencil or ink marks.

    ‘a pencil with a rubber at the end’
    • ‘I caved in, bought a book, and even bought a pencil and a rubber.’
    • ‘My son's pencil case contains a pencil, a ruler, pencil sharpener and a rubber.’
    • ‘We'll have the usual sort of thing for children like baseball caps, pens, books, CDs, rubbers and pencils.’
    • ‘Check you've got pen/pencil, ruler, rubber and any extra equipment such as a calculator, dictionary, or text that you are allowed.’
    • ‘You have to rummage around in it for ages trying to find a rubber or pencil sharpener.’
    • ‘Suzie wore out 7 books of pencils and 36 rubbers correcting all the mistakes and making it readable.’
    • ‘They returned delighted, with pens, pencils, rubbers and badges - mementoes from the trip.’
    • ‘Each case has been filled with much needed resources for the children including pens, pencils, rubbers, rulers and pencil sharpeners.’
    • ‘Ask the children to take two pencils (perhaps red and blue), a rubber, a pencil sharpener and a ruler from their pencil cases.’
    • ‘The organization is also also collecting pens, paper, rubbers, geometry sets, solar-powered calculators, rulers, felt tip pens and crayons which will be boxed up and sent to countries in eastern Europe.’
  • 3rubbersNorth American Rubber boots; galoshes.

    • ‘In other ways, though, he's just an overgrown boy, and he does need looking after -- he hasn't any sense about wearing rubbers when it rains.’
    • ‘When we got to San Marcos Square we saw many people wearing rubbers and some had yellow bags right up to their knees.’
    • ‘To make things easier for you, we conducted our own test of the top-rated rubbers.’
    • ‘If you don't find any attractive rubbers, leave your shoes at work and buy yourself a nice pair of boots.’
    • ‘Matt was dressed now and sat on the couch putting on his shoes and rubbers.’
    • ‘You may have your boots, rubbers and scarf, but are you still depending on your thin fall jacket to keep you warm throughout the seemingly endless winter months?’
  • 4North American informal A condom.

    • ‘It'd be a good idea to back the rubbers up with some foam.’
    • ‘Didn't think I was gonna get lucky, so I didn't take any rubbers out with me, and I didn't have any change to get some when I did.’
    • ‘I think most guys would wear a rubber, but for some reason, guys get the opportunity to have sex when they least expect it, and therefore don't have protection with them.’
    • ‘A couple of beers and a few albums later, Jake asked if Mark had any rubbers.’

Phrases

  • burn rubber

    • informal Drive very fast.

  • where (or when) the rubber meets (or hits) the road

    • informal The point at which a theory or idea is put to a practical test.

      ‘the differences between effective and ineffective teachers show up where the rubber meets the road, in the brains of the students’
      • ‘Jackson has been a prosecutor, inside the courtroom, where the rubber hits the road.’
      • ‘The combination of riders and management is, of course, where the rubber meets the road.’
      • ‘This is where the rubber hits the road, where abstract financial questions acquire real life meaning.’
      • ‘While other scopes may look good, how they perform optically is where the rubber meets the road.’
      • ‘It's critical to make sure the company's VCs share his vision so they will put in more money when the rubber hits the road.’
      • ‘Army Reserve company commanders and first sergeants are where the training rubber meets the proverbial road.’
      • ‘In terms of moral values, this is where the rubber meets the road.’
      • ‘But when the rubber hits the road, we are the owners and we do make that clear.’
      • ‘Those last two graphs show data points from two synthetic tests, but games are where the rubber meets the road.’
      • ‘But when the rubber hits the road, it's rare that marketers dedicate any significant budget to things like product development.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: from the verb rub + -er. The original sense was ‘an implement (such as a hard brush) used for rubbing and cleaning’. Because an early use of the elastic substance (previously known as caoutchouc) was to rub out pencil marks, rubber gained the sense ‘eraser’ in the late 18th century The sense was subsequently (mid 19th century) generalized to refer to the substance in any form or use, at first often differentiated as India rubber.

Pronunciation

rubber

/ˈrʌbə/

Main definitions of rubber in English

: rubber1rubber2

rubber2

noun

  • 1A contest consisting of a series of successive matches (typically three or five) between the same sides or people in cricket, tennis, and other games.

    ‘the opening rubber of Britain's Davis Cup tie against Argentina’
    • ‘In the opening contest of the night Lismore City narrowly defeated RSL six rubbers to five.’
    • ‘Clifton were a pairing short due to illness and then had to concede a further three rubbers owing to an injury picked up in the opening game of the first rubber.’
    • ‘Thursday's semi final will be a rubber match between the Warriors and second place Marauders.’
    • ‘Jill Norton and Heather Reynolds won all their rubbers to amass 27 games.’
    • ‘Five of the rubbers were 6-6 with Fulford taking the other four 7-5.’
    • ‘He captained Australia in the home series of 1924 / 5, winning the Ashes by 4 rubbers to 1, scoring 114 and 60 in the first Test at Sydney.’
    • ‘Bubwith rescued a point by winning the middle rubber 21-15.’
    • ‘Jean Jarem and Sandra Robinson were the only couple to win all their three rubbers, collecting 24 games.’
    • ‘Dave Hearn and Graeme Campbell took five wins from six rubbers for a two-match total of 177-90.’
    • ‘Pocklington recorded their fifth win on the bounce in beating Heworth 68-40 in division five, but five of the nine rubbers were very close.’
    • ‘Bubwith's Doug Smith and Shaun Pinchbeck did well to win a rubber and score 18.’
    • ‘Appleton Roebuck against Wheldrake in division three provided quality tennis worthy of a higher division, the first five rubbers being drawn.’
    • ‘Four games in, the rubber was locked at 2-2 with Ashley looking to take the upper hand.’
    • ‘Andy Jackson also performed well winning two singles rubbers for the Lismore team.’
    • ‘They couldn't beat Jill Schofield and Viv Williamson but won five of the rubbers, top scorers for Poppleton being Kath Halliday and Hilary Spencer winning 22 games.’
    • ‘Cawood's unbeaten third pair, Richard and Robert Taylor, dropped only one game in the first rubber scoring 24 overall.’
    • ‘Five of the rubbers were 6-6, but top scorers John Dougherty and Betty Bainton sealed victory with a final 9-3 win.’
    • ‘In their first outing as a team they were successful over Bryon Bay winning seven rubbers to five.’
    • ‘Riverside sealed the men's division two title with a 6-3 win at Rowntree, whose Phil Grant was injured in the opening rubber.’
    • ‘Clifton's match-winners were Mark Screeton and Stuart Robertson, who took all three rubbers in straight sets for a return of 90-35.’
    1. 1.1 A deciding game in a rubber of cricket, tennis, etc.
    2. 1.2Bridge A unit of play in which one side scores bonus points for winning the best of three games.
      ‘the total score, including 700 for the rubber, was 2,620’
      as modifier ‘she supplemented her income with her winnings at rubber bridge’
      • ‘In rubber bridge one does not often come across complicated systems and partnership agreements.’
      • ‘The South London Area Gay Bridge Group provides a venue for gay people to meet to play rubber bridge.’
      • ‘If they take all the tricks they score four games and thus win the rubber immediately.’
      • ‘The highest score past 250 points wins the rubber.’
      • ‘Often three rubbers of 7 deals are played, so that each player has a turn at being the first declarer.’

Origin

Late 16th century: of unknown origin; early use was as a term in bowls.

Pronunciation

rubber

/ˈrʌbə/