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

Example Sentences

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 More and more flies started buzzing around his nub. Jonathan Edwards, Anchorage Daily News, 13 Sep. 2022 Most upside: Carter Summing it up: The arrival of COVID reduced high school and college baseball seasons to a nub. Dallas News, 6 July 2022 Musk promised that Twitter would not only be a haven for free speech, but would also whittle its content moderation policies down to a nub. Scott Nover, Quartz, 15 Dec. 2022 And the nub of the questions always cuts to the heart of what the issue was. CBS News, 14 Dec. 2022 Ta-Nehisi Coates, for putting his finger on the nub of the American ailment. New York Times, 13 Oct. 2022 So to reserve your happy self for your new love and to bring only your needy self to them is the kind of thing that can wear a friendship down to a nub. Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, 7 Nov. 2022 More and more flies started buzzing around his nub. Jonathan Edwards, Anchorage Daily News, 13 Sep. 2022 This is, of course, the very nub of the debate about our future: the intangible philosophy of governance itself. Mark P. Mills, WSJ, 26 July 2022 See More

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

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 26 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on nub

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