Definition of rub-a-dub in US English:



  • 1The sound of a drum being beaten; a drumming sound.

  • 2British, Australian, and NZ A pub.


  • 1no object To make a rhythmic sound or motion, especially (in early use) to make a drumming sound or (now more frequently) to rub or scrub in order to clean.

  • 2with object Originally: to beat (a drum or drumming sound). In later use: to rub (something).


Mid 17th century. Imitative of the sound of a drum being beaten<br>mid 19th century; earliest use found in Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881), author, biographer, and historian. From rub-a-dub.