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or knub

[nuhb] /nʌb/
the point, gist, or heart of something.
a knob or protuberance.
a lump or small piece:
a nub of coal; a nub of pencil.
a small mass of fibers produced on a card, dyed brilliant colors, and introduced into yarn during the spinning process.
Origin of nub
1585-95; < Low German, Middle Low German knubbe; cf. knob Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for nub
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Turned by Aristophanes into an apology for beating one's father, nub.

  • A common suffering united him and nub, and when they could they helped each other.

    The South Sea Whaler W.H.G. Kingston
  • Alice felt very tired and sleepy, for she had not closed her eyes all the night; and nub himself began to get excessively hungry.

    The South Sea Whaler W.H.G. Kingston
  • nub undertook to do this without exciting the suspicion of the mutineers.

    The South Sea Whaler W.H.G. Kingston
  • “We can only shout and try to frighten the sharks, as nub is doing,” answered the mate.

    The South Sea Whaler W.H.G. Kingston
  • nub and Tidy, with three or four of the other men, did the same.

    The South Sea Whaler W.H.G. Kingston
  • Frozen fingers still clutched a cylinder pen, and the nub adhered to the paper as the flow of ink had stiffened.

    Master of the Moondog Stanley Mullen
  • nub came in and placed the tea-things on the table, and she made tea.

    The South Sea Whaler W.H.G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for nub


a small lump or protuberance
a small piece or chunk
the point or gist: the nub of a story
a small fibrous knot in yarn
Derived Forms
nubbly, adjective
Word Origin
C16: variant of knub, from Middle Low German knubbeknob
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for nub

"knob, lump, bump," 1590s, variant of dialectal knub, probably a variant of knob. Figurative meaning "point, gist" first recorded 1834.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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