Definition of tub in English:


nounPlural tubs

  • 1A wide, open, deep, typically round container with a flat bottom used for holding liquids, growing plants, etc.

    ‘a rainwater tub’
    • ‘Even if you have only a small garden, growing them in tubs or large pots can be just as effective.’
    • ‘Planted in a deep tub, within a couple of seasons it will reach for the sky and festoon your railings with its sweet scented flowers.’
    • ‘There are lots of summer flowering patio plants, garden flowers, trees, shrubs and all kinds of rose bushes, herbaceous plants, baskets, tubs and ceramic containers.’
    • ‘Be sure the bottom of the tub is clean and free of any soap residue.’
    • ‘Even the tiniest garden should have room for tubs planted with sweet-smelling herbs.’
    • ‘I washed out two long tubs and planted 6 of my new strawberries in each, watered them in and put them right in the corner of the patio.’
    • ‘The compost can then be stored until you need it in an old dustbin, ready for use in pots, tubs, boxes and patio containers.’
    • ‘If there are flowers planted in tubs or beds in your area we ask you to please help keep them watered regularly.’
    • ‘The two blueberries were a little more tricky, since they were already planted into their large tubs and well settled.’
    • ‘While herbaceous perennials are best grown together in a border, they work just as well grouped in patio tubs and pots.’
    • ‘It is therefore suitable for trellises or arbors or for growing in pots or tubs with a balloon framework.’
    • ‘The ones previously planted out into a tub are really growing well; the ones in the cold frame are still little.’
    • ‘Finally, the pupils used six tubs to plant strawberry runners.’
    • ‘Immediately prior to flooding, plant heights were measured and these heights were used to assign plants to tubs.’
    • ‘We also bought 4 windowboxes for the front of the house, and 4 tubs of bedding plants to put in them.’
    • ‘A large selection of colourful bedding plants, tubs, window boxes and baskets, shrubs, roses, heathers, perennial plants, Ornamental and fruit trees will be on sale.’
    • ‘I spent a goodly proportion of yesterday working in the garden replanting some tubs and planting up some new ones.’
    • ‘Over recent weeks the group have planted up flower tubs around the village, removed weeds and cared for flower beds and done some paintwork.’
    • ‘The local committee has purchased a number of new tubs which have been planted over the weekend.’
    • ‘Generously scaled tubs and plants with architectural leaves in the foreground lend distance, in the same way as placing your hand to your face will make the background recede.’
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A small plastic or cardboard container in which food is bought or stored.
      ‘a margarine tub’
      • ‘Targeted towards kids, the gum balls are distributed in a 36-count plastic tub.’
      • ‘Seal the drying salt in an airtight container such as a glass jar or plastic tub.’
      • ‘In no time at all, I could untangle the mess as well as designing and making a superb drawer organiser from old egg boxes and margarine tubs.’
      • ‘Flexible margarine tubs or whipped topping containers will warp or melt and leach chemicals in the microwave.’
      • ‘Butter has been stored and shipped in wooden barrels, casks, tubs, and eventually paraffin paper and parchment.’
      • ‘As part of their recycling efforts, Susannah and her young family separated all the glass and plastic bottles and plastic tubs into the green box.’
      • ‘Polypropylene plastics are used in margarine tubs, sour cream containers, ketchup bottles and other food containers.’
      • ‘Cardboard boxes are being replaced with plastic tubs, to deter mice, mud-wasps and suchlike.’
      • ‘We scooped up margarine tubs full of pond water and saw a host of living things in our little container.’
      • ‘Hot food melts some plastics, such as margarine tubs, causing migration of package constituents.’
      • ‘I've mentioned that the modern packaging has the petits suisses stored in little plastic tubs, but you have probably noticed it is not the case on the picture above.’
      • ‘We do have a small fridge where we could store fresh milk but it's shared between more than 100 people and it's already full of plastic tubs of salad.’
      • ‘Plastic lids also continue to impact the dairy-based spread and spreadable butter category, used on plastic tubs and containers.’
      • ‘This simple sauce will last for a week in the fridge, or make up a batch and freeze in little plastic tubs so you can whip up a fresh meal at any time.’
      • ‘Margarine tubs, yogurt & cottage cheese containers and egg cartons are fantastic for seed starting.’
      • ‘Regular, light and fat-free sour creams in conveniently sized plastic tubs are also available.’
      pot, carton
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 The contents of a tub or the amount it can contain.
      ‘she ate a tub of yogurt’
      • ‘She insisted on paying so I bought a great tub of popcorn between us.’
      • ‘You get a separate tray full of salad and a tub of chilli sauce.’
      • ‘Jeff was sitting alone at a table, eating from a large tub of ice cream.’
      • ‘Gorging yourself on a tub of chocolate mousse ice-cream is not appropriate.’
      • ‘The storms and showers this summer may not have done much for the sales of ice-cream, but even when the rain is crashing down it can be difficult to resist a tub of the home-made variety.’
      • ‘Environmental health chiefs who launched a probe after a York woman discovered a piece of glass in a tub of ice-cream have drawn a blank.’
      • ‘They're selling small tubs of ice-cream in the interval.’
      • ‘There are hot dogs, burgers, salads and dips - many of which are made with packet soup whisked into a tub of sour cream with some herbs.’
      • ‘Sit at home with a tub of ice-cream watching ‘Sleepless in Seattle’, or go out, meet someone new and maybe hit it off.’
      • ‘I'm going to get a tub of ice cream and cry myself to sleep.’
      • ‘A tub of ice-cream with the film comes gratis, but wine is extra.’
      • ‘I'll be watching with breathless anticipation and a tub of popcorn.’
      • ‘I guess digging into a tub of chocolate ice cream will be good.’
      • ‘This was accompanied by a small, warm baguette and a tub of butter.’
      • ‘When I opened it I pulled out a large tub of ice cream.’
      • ‘Ever since the reality TV phenomenon has taken over the world of television, slouching on the couch with a tub of ice-cream has become a torture.’
    3. 1.3 A washtub.
      • ‘Emily was sitting on a chair, next to the washtub, talking to Hannah, who was kneeling at the tub helping a girl bath.’
      • ‘A nurse was standing nearby, holding a small tub of warm water.’
      • ‘She grabbed a wooden wash tub and took a rag and lifted his shirt.’
      • ‘I started to unbutton my jacket as she stoked the fire around the tub of bath water.’
      • ‘Baths were taken in tubs and emptied after use on shrubs in the courtyard.’
    4. 1.4North American informal A bath.
      ‘a soak in the tub’
      • ‘The first time we taught Leta that she could use her arms to create tidal waves in the tub we were still bathing her in the sink.’
      • ‘"It can't be that funny right now, " Ike drained the tub.’
      • ‘Again, you want to be sure that the bag is not colored with dye because that can leak out during a bath and stain the tub as well as your guest.’
      • ‘My wife had gone for a walk for exercise and Zack was finishing his bath in the tub.’
      • ‘I shook the thoughts out of my head and drained the tub.’
      • ‘Bath oils used in the bath water make the tub too slippery and should not be used.’
      • ‘One of the few luxuries her room had was the sunken bath tub.’
      • ‘These hotels usually offer butler service, large bathrooms with soaking tubs, spa-inspired bath products, and high-end bed linens.’
      • ‘I ran the water into the tub, pouring in bath oils while undressing.’
      • ‘Finishing up there, she moved to the bathroom where she drew a steaming bath in the tub.’
      • ‘This signature treatment begins with a bath in the hydrotherapy tub using turquoise bath oils.’
      • ‘I drain the tub and run the shower, get him rinsed… finally.’
      • ‘Instantly, feeling the pain, she decided to take a warm bath in the tub.’
      • ‘To use, add two tablespoons or more to a warm tub of bath water.’
      • ‘She got up out of bed and walked towards the bathroom and she began to draw her hot bath in her Jacuzzi tub.’
      • ‘John said, " I'm going to fill the hot tub.’
      • ‘The location is spectacular, with very rustic - even for this part of the world - cabins and mineral water bathing tubs.’
      bath, bathtub
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5Mining A container for conveying ore, coal, etc.
      ‘they are loading the coal into tubs for transportation’
      • ‘We saw a model of a woman pulling a tub full of coal along a tunnel while a child aged about six worked as a trapper, opening and shutting air doors to allow air to circulate along the roadways.’
      • ‘Although he did not get any severe injury in his mining career, he had earlier had three fingers crushed when a full tub of coal jumped off the rails.’
      • ‘He defined it as the number placed by the miner on the tubs of coal filled.’
      • ‘The horse gin was a horse-driven winding machine used to raise coal in tubs or baskets.’
  • 2derogatory, informal A short, broad boat that handles awkwardly.

    ‘the old tub's in need of a refit’
    • ‘This tub could make only about eight or nine knots (nautical miles per hour).’
    • ‘You'd think they would be wise and paint their boats, but they pick out the worst old tubs for their rum ships.’
    • ‘I decided to check out this new boat even though I was looking forward to travelling the 2 hours on the old tub just like the old days.’
    • ‘It hit their little boat so hard that the wooden tub shattered on contact and blew all four friends onto the shore.’
    • ‘The old tub, carrying a load of oil pregnant with toxins and separated from the sea by a single layer of metal, should never have been allowed to leave the Baltic Sea.’

verbtubs, tubbing, tubbed

[with object]
  • 1usually as adjective tubbedPlant in a tub.

    ‘tubbed fruit trees’
    • ‘Sales of the tubbed butter grew by more than 40% on last year.’
    • ‘A tubbed specimen of miscanthus may be only half the size of an in-ground plant, yet it can serve a similar purpose.’
    • ‘This is now the pre-packing hub for all the company's tubbed butter markets as well as the foil pre-packing facility for France, Benelux and southern Europe.’
  • 2dated Wash or bathe in or as in a tub or bath.

    ‘even your formal evening gown can be tubbed’
    • ‘The feet can be tubbed and cold hosed during the first few hours to reduce inflammation.’
    1. 2.1British informal no object Have a bath.
      ‘she's revolting—she doesn't tub’


Middle English: probably of Low German or Dutch origin; compare with Middle Low German, Middle Dutch tubbe.