Definition of rug in US English:



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

    • ‘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 entire floor was covered by a huge rug woven in complex geometric patterns and curtains partitioned off other areas of the chambers.’
    • ‘Sure it had it's elegant aspects, like polished oak tables and cabinets, and fine material for the rugs and curtains, but the room was dull, and boring.’
    • ‘This mood is furthered by the wooden hope chest, the old-fashioned furniture, and the floral print rug on the floor.’
    • ‘The rug on the floor was dim and brown, so worn that it crunched underfoot.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the oversized treatment rooms have natural hardwood floors, matting rugs, walls and window coverings and Asian art.’
    • ‘There were other doors, bulky and overstuffed-looking pieces of furniture, woven rugs on the floor and paintings on the walls.’
    • ‘The living and work environments should be assessed to remove safety hazards such as loose rugs and carpets, poor lighting, and obstacles.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Furniture, televisions, other electrical appliances, carpets and rugs often contain chemicals that are stain repellent or fire retardant.’
    • ‘Iran's handwoven carpets and rugs are made of either silk or wool, and use special knots dating from the Middle Ages.’
    • ‘Vacuum and dust regularly and avoid rugs and wall-to-wall carpeting, especially in your child's room.’
    • ‘On the ground was a rug that covered the entire floor.’
    • ‘The Turks have a history of empire and the country is a place of bazaars, rugs and carpets, strong coffee and many other delights.’
    • ‘Several large chandeliers hung down from the ceiling and traveled down the hall over a long, old hall rug that ran the entire length of the foyer.’
    • ‘While wooden floorboards have become the flooring of choice for many Irish homemakers, carpets and rugs have seen their fortunes decline.’
    • ‘The room was very well furnished, with expensive paintings on the walls and rugs on the floors.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Though it had tried, the company had not succeeded in establishing its rugs as year-round floor coverings.’
    • ‘Woven rugs often cover the floors of Uzbek houses.’
    • ‘Always place portable heaters on a level, hard, nonflammable surface - not on carpets or rugs.’
    • ‘Kurtas, short kurtas, cushion covers, bags, bedspreads, rugs, carpets and a whole lot of other items would be on display at the expo.’
    • ‘Antique carpets and rugs are mostly imported from China, Persia, India, Afghanistan, Caucasus and Turkey.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The hallways were lined here and there with mirrors, and the creaky wooden floors had an old rug with archaic symbols winding with it, down the halls.’
    • ‘A large, Indian rug covered the floor and there were portable lights in the corners as well.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It used to be an old distribution business of imported carpet and rugs.’
    • ‘Allowing carpets and rugs to become excessively soiled will make cleaning more difficult and will shorten their useful life.’
    • ‘Woven rugs covered the hardwood floor, the many rooms visible on their course quite large and possessing great amounts of valuables.’
    • ‘You can choose from an array of carpets, rugs, hardwoods, laminates, ceramic tile and even home products including pillows, wall hangings and throws.’
    • ‘A giant mauve rug that covered the entire floor cushioned her feet.’
    • ‘Most homes made before 1970 had hardwood floors and even though your house now has carpet there may be a beautiful hardwood floor hiding under your rug!’
    • ‘Decorations covered the walls and rugs overlaid the floor.’
    • ‘Stripped wood is still very much the in-thing for floors, along with natural seagrass or coir rugs and floor coverings.’
    • ‘The floor was devoid of rugs, and all that adorned the walls were several large maps.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A photo also showed that woven rugs, won after two hours of bargaining in a Moroccan souk, would perfectly fit the couple's rooms.’
    mat, carpet
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    1. 1.1British A thick woolen coverlet or wrap, used especially when traveling.
      • ‘Drafted in 1963, it presently remains in law that gramophones, travelling rugs, and typewriters are our most at-risk goods.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In total the club, which includes about six other members, have crocheted about 56 blankets ranging from knee rugs to baby blankets.’
      • ‘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.’
      blanket, coverlet, throw, wrap
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    2. 1.2North American informal A toupee or wig.
      • ‘I hereby sentence the actors to get a haircut so they won't need to wear the bad rugs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Don't they realize every person knows immediately they have implants, same way you can always tell a guy who's wearing a rug?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The bad rug worn by Douglas is worth a good laugh.’
      toupee, wig, hairpiece
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  • pull the rug (out) from under

    • Abruptly withdraw support from (someone)

      ‘the rug was pulled right out from beneath our feet’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This really pulls the rug out from under the right's tax-cut argument as well.’
      • ‘This pulled the rug from under Noonan's plans to occupy the high moral ground.’
      • ‘Just as the wily CIA chief constantly springs surprises on his willing student, so the film keeps pulling the rug from under the viewer.’
      • ‘In both countries, it was the external patron whom the local regimes had relied on for protection that pulled the rug from under them.’
      • ‘But yesterday he effectively pulled the rug from under them by introducing 19 per cent corporation tax levy on those profits.’
      • ‘More importantly, though, Russell's narrative pulls the rug from under us, changing our perceptions of all three characters.’
      • ‘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.’


Mid 16th century (denoting a type of coarse woolen 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.