nub·​bin ˈnə-bən How to pronounce nubbin (audio)
: something (such as an ear of corn) that is small for its kind, stunted, undeveloped, or imperfect
: a small usually projecting part or bit

Examples of nubbin in a Sentence

had only a nubbin of crayon left this nubbin of the intelligence report is the prediction that the country's government will soon fall
Recent Examples on the Web That changed at 1:03 a.m. on Dec. 5 when 192 giant lasers at the laboratory’s National Ignition Facility blasted a small cylinder about the size of a pencil eraser that contained a frozen nubbin of hydrogen encased in diamond. Kenneth Chang, New York Times, 13 Dec. 2022 Atoms flew off the nubbin, forcing it to implode at a speed of nearly 400 kilometers per second—about four times a bolt of lightning. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, 1 Mar. 2023 With its mild flavor, a single nubbin of tteok is an equal opportunist flavor sponge. Bon Appétit, 24 May 2022 To serve the dish, spoon the rice into bowls, add a nubbin of butter to each one, let the butter melt for half a minute, then let each diner sprinkle several drops of soy sauce onto the rice before eating., 20 Apr. 2021 The entrance features a dipping counter where signature flavors like honey-swirled Queen Bee, crunchy Churro Churro and Malt Shake, with nubbins of malt balls, are scooped. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, 9 Dec. 2019 Chicken — rather, nubbins of chicken — make yet another appearance on a plate of gloppy pasta that’s the polar opposite of al dente and further degraded by a rumor of pesto. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 4 Dec. 2019 Tteok kochi — chewy little rice cake nubbins basted with gochujang, broiled to a sticky crisp and dusted with crushed peanuts — is the ultimate bar snack, as far as I’m concerned. Dominic Armato, azcentral, 15 July 2019 See More

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

Word History


perhaps diminutive of nub

First Known Use

1692, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of nubbin was in 1692

Dictionary Entries Near nubbin

Cite this Entry

“Nubbin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


nub·​bin ˈnəb-ən How to pronounce nubbin (audio)
: a small or imperfect ear of corn
also : any small shriveled or undeveloped fruit
: a small part or bit
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