noun, often attributive
stub·​ble | \ˈstə-bəl \

Definition of stubble 

1 : the basal part of herbaceous plants and especially cereal grasses remaining attached to the soil after harvest

2 : a rough surface or growth resembling stubble especially : a short growth of beard

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Other Words from stubble

stubbled \ ˈstə-​bəld \ adjective
stubbly \ ˈstə-​b(ə-​)lē \ adjective

Examples of stubble in a Sentence

He ran his hand over his stubble.

Recent Examples on the Web

Paul Manafort seems to have lost his polish, a new mugshot reveals, showing the once-dapper, well-coiffed power player with gray hair and facial stubble. Andrew O'reilly, Fox News, "Manafort mugshot revealed after he's moved to new jail," 13 July 2018 Body hair's presence is just that atypical, even though few things are more natural and universal than leg stubble. Deanna Pai, Glamour, "Billie's New Campaign Is the First Razor Ad to Actually Show Body Hair," 26 June 2018 Certain things are just meant to be scratchy, like a cat’s tongue and the lower half of Zayn Malik’s face (his stubble is perfection, OK?!). Korin Miller, SELF, "7 Things That Can Cause Irritated, Scratchy Eyes," 29 June 2018 But the man in a simple black habit who met me was young, with kind eyes, a boyish face, and a light shading of stubble. Matías Costa, Smithsonian, "The Battle Over the Memory of the Spanish Civil War," 28 June 2018 Police described the suspect as a Hispanic male, about 25 years old, 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighing about 250 pounds with black slicked-back hair, a mustache with stubble on his face and thick eyebrows. Prescotte Stokes Iii, star-telegram, "Woman pulled over by a cop impersonator and sexually assaulted, police say," 18 June 2018 Image Sarah is on the other side of a heavy white curtain with Michael, a genial young man with precision stubble. Karen Stabiner, New York Times, "No Seat in the Fitting Room for Me," 17 May 2018 Russians are generally a clean-shaven bunch — no hipster beards over here — and even a sprinkling of stubble is usually hard to find on the streets and subways of Moscow. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Playoff beard? Russians grow mustaches to support team in World Cup," 14 June 2018 Others wanted to learn how to hide discoloration from laser hair removal and electrolysis, or to cover up stubble., "For Trans Women, Sephora Is So Much More Than A Beauty Store," 23 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of stubble

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stubble

Middle English stuble, from Anglo-French estuble, from Latin stupula stalk, straw, alteration of stipula — more at stipule

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Time Traveler for stubble

The first known use of stubble was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for stubble



English Language Learners Definition of stubble

: short hairs growing from the face of a man who has not shaved very recently

: the short ends of crops left in the ground after the crops have been cut down


stub·​ble | \ˈstə-bəl \

Kids Definition of stubble

1 : a short growth of beard

2 : the short ends of crops and especially cereal grasses remaining attached to the ground after harvest

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Comments on stubble

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by force of circumstances

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