Definition of rub elbows in US English:

rub elbows

(also rub shoulders)


  • Associate or come into contact with another person.

    ‘he rubbed elbows with TV stars at the party’
    • ‘I feel like I belong with all the wealthy socialites I rub elbows with.’
    • ‘Now Jeffrey has the opportunity to rub shoulders with the socialites of the club.’
    • ‘He admits he misses socialising and rubbing shoulders with Royalty during the horse trials.’
    • ‘Sophie is based at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, Buckinghamshire, where she rubs shoulders with England's superstar footballers who train there.’
    • ‘Film directors, producers and actors rubbed shoulders, making small talk and reminiscing about their association with the late director.’
    • ‘Back then the place was a hubbub of activity at the weekends, with walkers, families and locals rubbing shoulders and jostling for elbow room in front of a glowing open fire.’
    • ‘Denis was well known among the racing fraternity having rubbed shoulders with them for many years.’
    • ‘Once a fixture at some of Manchester's most high-class establishments, he now rubs shoulders with truckers and tea ladies.’
    • ‘Certainly it never hurts to rub elbows and shoulders with those who are - or will become - the business leaders of the community.’
    • ‘Back before gated communities and suburban commuters, people of varying means rubbed shoulders more regularly.’
    associate with, mingle with, fraternize with, socialize with, mix with, keep company with, consort with
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