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rub·ber 1 (rŭbər)
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n.
1. A yellowish, amorphous, elastic material, composed almost entirely of an isoprene polymer, obtained from the milky sap or latex of various tropical plants, especially the rubber tree, and vulcanized, pigmented, finished, and modified into products such as electric insulation, elastic bands and belts, tires, and containers. Also called caoutchouc, India rubber.
2. Any of numerous synthetic elastic materials of varying chemical composition with properties similar to those of natural rubber; an elastomer.
3. A low overshoe made of rubber.
4. Baseball The rectangular piece of hard rubber that the pitcher must remain in contact with when making a pitch.
5. Something made of rubber, as:
a. An eraser.
b. A tire.
c. A set of tires on a vehicle.
6. Slang A condom.
7. One that rubs, especially one that gives a massage.
Idiom:
where the rubber meets the road
Where the practical reality or crucial test is: "The sales effort is where the rubber meets the road in every competitive business" (Brian Tracy).

[From RUB.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
rub·ber 2 (rŭbər)
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n.
1. A series of games of which two out of three or three out of five must be won to terminate the play.
2. An odd game played to break a tie.

[Origin unknown.]

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:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    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.

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