v. grubbed, grub·bing, grubs
1. To dig up by or as if by the roots: grubbed carrots with a stick.
2. To clear of roots and stumps by digging: grubbed a small plot.
3. Slang To obtain by importunity: grub a cigarette.
1. To dig in the earth: grub for potatoes.
a. To search laboriously by or as if by digging; rummage.
b. To toil arduously; drudge: grub for a living.
1. The thick wormlike larva of certain beetles and other insects.
2. A drudge.
3. Slang Food.
[Middle English grubben, from Old English *grybban; see ghrebh-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.