Definition of rub something down in US English:

rub something down

phrasal verb

  • 1Dry, smooth, or clean something by rubbing.

    • ‘Hamilton recommends that dancers soak their feet in the bathtub every two weeks and rub the calluses down with a pumice stone.’
    • ‘Dig out your tools from the back of the shed, clean them up, rub them down, sharpen and oil them and head outdoors.’
    • ‘If dead skin builds up around the wart, it might help to trim it away or rub it down gently with a pumice stone.’
    • ‘He looked over the boot he was working on, spit on it, and then began rubbing it down with a rag furiously.’
    • ‘Have a helper hold one end of the paper off the surface while you work from the opposite end to slowly rub the paper down so no air bubbles are trapped.’
    • ‘Spray a little silicone or Teflon spray lubricant on the tracks and rub them down with fine steel wool.’
    • ‘You're now ready to rub the surfaces down using sandpaper - this will remove any splinters or remains of old paint.’
    clean, sponge, wash
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    1. 1.1 Rub the sweat from a horse or one's own body after exercise.
      • ‘Inside, he could see a young man rubbing down a mare and someone else was moving around near the back part of the huge barn.’
      • ‘She rubbed the horses down and let them loose among the grass to graze.’
      • ‘Let's get these horses in and rub them down.’
      • ‘He grunted his thanks, and they worked together to unsaddle the horses and rub them down.’
      • ‘Imprinting involves rubbing the foal down with towels and touching all areas of the body in order to desensitize him.’
      • ‘We brought the horses into the barn rubbed them down, and fed them.’
      • ‘He rubbed the horses down the best he could, then sent them out to the field.’
      • ‘If you want me to put the horses in their stall and rub them down I can.’
      • ‘She watered the mules at the stableyard fountain, rubbed them down, and let them rest in a patch of shade.’
      clean, sponge, wash
      View synonyms