grib·​ble | \ ˈgri-bəl How to pronounce gribble (audio) \

Definition of gribble

: either of two small wood-boring marine isopods (Limnoria lignorum and L. tripunctata)

Examples of gribble in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The two most common borers are a kind of shipworm called Teredo navalis, which is actually a wormlike clam, and tiny crustaceans known as gribbles. New York Times, 13 Sep. 2019 So, discovering how gribbles break through lignin would be an important step to figuring out how humans can use it, and scientists from the Universities of York, Portsmouth, Cambridge, and São Paulo figured it out. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, 5 Dec. 2018 The scientists discovered that gribbles use hemocyanins to attack the strong bonds of lignin. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, 5 Dec. 2018 Deep-sea wood borers (Xylophaga, a genus of bivalve mollusks) take over where shallow water gribbles and shipworms left off. Brian Payton, Smithsonian, 9 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gribble.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of gribble

1838, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gribble

perhaps alteration of grub entry 2

Learn More About gribble

Time Traveler for gribble

Time Traveler

The first known use of gribble was in 1838

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near gribble




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for gribble

Cite this Entry

“Gribble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on gribble Encyclopedia article about gribble


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!