grib·​ble ˈgri-bəl How to pronounce gribble (audio)
: either of two small wood-boring marine isopods (Limnoria lignorum and L. tripunctata)

Example Sentences

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.

Word History


perhaps alteration of grub entry 2

First Known Use

1838, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gribble was in 1838

Dictionary Entries Near gribble

Cite this Entry

“Gribble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Mar. 2023.

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