What is another word for rub?

Need synonyms for rub? Here's a list of similar words from our thesaurus that you can use instead.

Verb
To apply a substance to a surface
“Cautiously, overcoming his clumsiness, he proceeded to rub the ointment into the skin of her face and neck.”
Verb
To make glossy or shiny by rubbing
Rub the surface until it is shiny, by hand or with a polisher.”
Verb
To wear away or cause damage through applied friction
“They shouldn't do this, though, because the fiberglass edges can rub on the skin and cause irritation.”
Verb
To smooth by rubbing or applying friction
“Carefully rub it smooth with fine steel wool.”
Verb
To apply massage or knead, especially with one's hands
“It is important not to just rub the skin over the area, but to apply firm downward pressure with the thumb, knuckle or elbow.”
Verb
To remove moisture from (something)
“Rinse it off with fair water, and rub it dry with a clean linen cloth.”
Verb
To apply a (typically creamy or dusty) substance
Verb
Knead body parts
Verb
To come into general physical contact with
Verb
(of writing) To erase or strike out
axeUK
axUS
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Verb
To smear or rub over with oil or an unctuous substance
Verb
To put a layer of (something) on a surface
Verb
To move (a baby or young child) up and down in a playful or affectionate way
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Verb
To grind (one's teeth) in pain or in anger
Verb
To grind to a fine powder, to pulverize
Verb
To grind or grate with an audible noise
Verb
Snuggle up to
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Verb
To touch with the lips or press the lips against, usually as a sign of affection
Noun
An act of rubbing something
“Give it a good rub over with the sponge and then towel it.”
Noun
An act of massaging a body part
“The pain startled him out of his thoughts, but a quick rub of the injury relieved the throbbing.”
Noun
The central problem or difficulty in a situation
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“But surely the rub is in implementing these worthy principles!”
Noun
Something that causes irritation or frustration
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“Moreover, and this is the rub, this requirement is, for all intents and purposes, absolute.”
Noun
A smooth oily substance that is rubbed on the skin for medicinal purposes or as a cosmetic
Noun
The branch of therapy based on manipulation of bones and muscles
Noun
A brief application of a piece of absorbent material to a surface
Noun
A difficult or tangled situation
Noun
An act or sound of scraping, grinding or grating
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