The noun grub can refer either to a soft, young insect or to hearty food. If your best friend invites you over for some grub, don't worry — she almost certainly means the food and not the bugs.

The grubs your dad picks off of his tomato plant are insects, while the grub you eat in the school cafeteria includes spaghetti and Sloppy Joes. The most interesting thing about this word is how it went from describing a squishy, arguably gross little beetle larva to an informal term for something delicious. Experts guess that it comes from birds gobbling grubs. This slang definition has been around since the 17th century.

Definitions of grub
  1. noun
    a soft thick wormlike larva of certain beetles and other insects
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    the larva of the housefly and blowfly commonly found in decaying organic matter
    tough-skinned larva of certain crane flies
    type of:
    the immature free-living form of most invertebrates and amphibians and fish which at hatching from the egg is fundamentally unlike its parent and must metamorphose
  2. verb
    ask for and get free; be a parasite
    synonyms: bum, cadge, mooch, sponge
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    live off somebody's generosity
    type of:
    come into possession of
  3. verb
    search about busily
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    type of:
    look for, search, seek
    try to locate or discover, or try to establish the existence of
  4. noun
    informal terms for a meal
    synonyms: chow, chuck, eats
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    type of:
    the food and drink that are regularly served or consumed
Word Family

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