: knob, lump
: nubbin
: gist, point
the nub of the problem

Examples of nub in a Sentence

The dog chewed his bone down to a nub. The shoes have little nubs on the bottom that prevent you from slipping.
Recent Examples on the Web Top-panel radiator space extends 285mm from the card brackets to the front radiator bracket, but screw-hole nubs sticking out near the slots reduces the actual smooth mounting space to 274mm. PCMAG, 21 Apr. 2024 All this can happen, and yet there’s a little nub that remains unchanged. Jaron Lanier, The New Yorker, 2 Feb. 2024 After about a 30-minute boat ride, scientists jumped into the water to pass down the shelves bristling with nubs of healthy corals. Alie Skowronski, Sun Sentinel, 11 Jan. 2024 Then in the spring, their antlers begin to grow back, starting with little nubs—called the pedicles—that are covered in fuzz, or velvet. Scott Bestul, Field & Stream, 10 Jan. 2024 Researchers have tried anklets, chest harnesses and even tags mounted to the bony, horn-like nubs on top of their heads, but nobody could keep a tracker attached and functioning for long, says Sara Ferguson, a GCF wildlife veterinarian. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Jan. 2024 Roberts sticks with Charlotte Tilbury’s universally flattering Pillow Talk pencil, while Kathryn Newton’s crimson Chanel liner is worn down to a nub. Jenny Berg, Vogue, 27 Dec. 2023 The only deterioration is on the sole, where the grippy nubs have started to wear off in some areas. Julian Chokkattu, WIRED, 13 Dec. 2023 Old swordfish have even been caught with bills worn down to nubs. Joe Cermele, Field & Stream, 9 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nub.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


alteration of English dialect knub, probably from Low German knubbe

First Known Use

1696, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of nub was in 1696

Dictionary Entries Near nub

Cite this Entry

“Nub.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nub. Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: the main point of a matter
the nub of the story

More from Merriam-Webster on nub

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