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Physical ActionPlay
Used for actions where there is direct physical contact, often involving friction. SlideHe rubbed the balloon on his hair to create static electricity.
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Convey WarmthPlay
Indicates actions to generate warmth by moving hands on one's body or another's. SlideShe rubbed her hands together briskly to fight off the cold.
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Figurative UsePlay
Sometimes 'rub' is used metaphorically to describe a situation causing irritation. SlideHis constant lateness is starting to rub.