Definition of rug in English:



  • 1A floor covering of thick woven material or animal skin, typically not extending over the entire floor.

    ‘an oriental rug’
    ‘Charles and Elaine were sitting on the rug in front of the fire’
    • ‘Always place portable heaters on a level, hard, nonflammable surface - not on carpets or rugs.’
    • ‘The Turks have a history of empire and the country is a place of bazaars, rugs and carpets, strong coffee and many other delights.’
    • ‘Traffic was kept away and an array of colourful stalls filled the street, selling items as varied as rugs and carpets, clothes, herbal drinks and antique jewellery.’
    • ‘Allowing carpets and rugs to become excessively soiled will make cleaning more difficult and will shorten their useful life.’
    • ‘Carpet and rugs can be purchased with special fibers or treatments built into them which will eliminate the static electricity problem.’
    • ‘Sarajevo and Mostar are well known for the wool rugs and carpets their artisans produce.’
    • ‘Vacuum and dust regularly and avoid rugs and wall-to-wall carpeting, especially in your child's room.’
    • ‘Antique carpets and rugs are mostly imported from China, Persia, India, Afghanistan, Caucasus and Turkey.’
    • ‘Iran's handwoven carpets and rugs are made of either silk or wool, and use special knots dating from the Middle Ages.’
    • ‘Tidy away any excess of coats and shoes lying around to make the hall look instantly bigger, and brighten a well-worn carpet with cheap rugs.’
    • ‘It used to be an old distribution business of imported carpet and rugs.’
    • ‘While wooden floorboards have become the flooring of choice for many Irish homemakers, carpets and rugs have seen their fortunes decline.’
    • ‘You can choose from an array of carpets, rugs, hardwoods, laminates, ceramic tile and even home products including pillows, wall hangings and throws.’
    • ‘The company began to sell carpets and rugs direct to customers in the area from its factory shop after it rose from the ashes, and this aspect of the business has become just as important as the commercial side.’
    • ‘A goatskin rug covers the carpet in front of a brass fireplace with marble surround and wooden mantelpiece.’
    • ‘Furniture, televisions, other electrical appliances, carpets and rugs often contain chemicals that are stain repellent or fire retardant.’
    • ‘Today's carpets and rugs come in a wide range of options, from rich cut piles and patterned berbers to fabric-inspired braids, that work well with today's favorite looks.’
    • ‘It is very important to dry rugs and carpets as soon as possible to prevent mildew, a spreading gray-white mold that stains and rots fabrics.’
    • ‘The living and work environments should be assessed to remove safety hazards such as loose rugs and carpets, poor lighting, and obstacles.’
    • ‘Kurtas, short kurtas, cushion covers, bags, bedspreads, rugs, carpets and a whole lot of other items would be on display at the expo.’
    mat, carpet
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    1. 1.1British A thick woollen coverlet or wrap, used especially when travelling.
      • ‘In total the club, which includes about six other members, have crocheted about 56 blankets ranging from knee rugs to baby blankets.’
      • ‘During the summer months, the light lasts well into the evening while passengers sit on deck, wrapped in rugs, marvelling at the beauty of the glaciers.’
      • ‘But stoics take rugs, umbrellas, thick coats and bracing amounts of booze.’
      • ‘When he was lowered to the ground, his box was tipped on its side to enable an emotional Blaine to stagger out wrapped in a rug.’
      • ‘On a fine night the gardens are magical, dotted with folding chairs, tartan rugs and carefully chosen food that won't cause unwanted sound later.’
      • ‘Drafted in 1963, it presently remains in law that gramophones, travelling rugs, and typewriters are our most at-risk goods.’
      blanket, coverlet, throw, wrap
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    2. 1.2A shaped garment worn by horses for protection or warmth.
      • ‘Amber and Pippa put their rugs on and put the two horses back in their stables.’
      • ‘A £1,000 horse trailer, horse jumps, eight horse rugs and a generator were also destroyed.’
      • ‘He described the job of putting on a horse rug as ‘like putting your shoes on in a morning’.’
      • ‘Racing enthusiasts are sure to enjoy the display of trophies, photographs, horse rugs, silks and other memorabilia from the area's top trainers and most famous racehorses.’
      • ‘Mr Petit, who travels around the country showing horses with his family, has suffered at the hands of thieves who have stolen a lorry, horsebox, horse rugs and saddles and even horse feed.’
      • ‘The head girl at the stables, Jane Bedford, said she was in a field where four mature racehorses were wintering, and each was wearing an all-weather rug.’
      • ‘In January a number of bridles, saddles, show jackets and rugs were found in a mobile home in Barnfield Park.’
      • ‘The horses wore leather rugs to protect their coats and keep them warm, but a string on one had come loose and was trailing in the mud.’
      • ‘Thieves broke into the Essex Horse and Pony Protection Society in Pitsea Hall Lane, Pitsea, and took 300 horse rugs, which had been put away last spring for the oncoming winter months.’
      • ‘At the event owners were advised to get freeze-marked rugs in fluorescent lettering so a horse can be seen in the dark and post coded saddles to aid recovery if stolen.’
    3. 1.3North American informal A toupee or wig.
      ‘men who shave their heads or wear rugs’
      • ‘Don't they realize every person knows immediately they have implants, same way you can always tell a guy who's wearing a rug?’
      • ‘The bad rug worn by Douglas is worth a good laugh.’
      • ‘A man wearing a blue sports coat and a rug on his head moved up to the standing mike.’
      • ‘I was actually disappointed that his tresses were not the result of a bad rug.’
      • ‘I hereby sentence the actors to get a haircut so they won't need to wear the bad rugs.’
      • ‘One in 10 is tempted to conceal her wayward tresses under a rug when it becomes frizzy, dry, dull or takes on a life of its own.’
      toupee, wig, hairpiece
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  • pull the rug (out) from under

    • Abruptly withdraw support from (someone)

      ‘the debts of major companies are too large for the banks to pull the rug’
      • ‘This pulled the rug from under Noonan's plans to occupy the high moral ground.’
      • ‘In both countries, it was the external patron whom the local regimes had relied on for protection that pulled the rug from under them.’
      • ‘More importantly, though, Russell's narrative pulls the rug from under us, changing our perceptions of all three characters.’
      • ‘This really pulls the rug out from under the right's tax-cut argument as well.’
      • ‘But yesterday he effectively pulled the rug from under them by introducing 19 per cent corporation tax levy on those profits.’
      • ‘It's a play about a woman who thinks she has all these skills and all this enormous power and talent, and confronts something that pulls the rug out from under her.’
      • ‘The fear that others may pull the rug from under us, leaving us helpless, is rooted in the idea that we are so profoundly vulnerable that we dare not put our energy security at risk by engaging with other countries.’
      • ‘You lull the audience into a false sense of security, make them sympathise with the character, then pull the rug from under them.’
      • ‘But two late goals in as many minutes, the first from a harshly awarded penalty, pulled the rug from under them.’
      • ‘Just as the wily CIA chief constantly springs surprises on his willing student, so the film keeps pulling the rug from under the viewer.’


Mid 16th century (denoting a type of coarse woollen cloth): probably of Scandinavian origin; compare with Norwegian dialect rugga coverlet, Swedish rugg ruffled hair; related to rag. The sense ‘small carpet’ dates from the early 19th century.