noun, often attributive
stub·​ble | \ ˈstə-bəl How to pronounce stubble (audio) \

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 How to pronounce stubbled (audio) \ adjective
stubbly \ ˈstə-​b(ə-​)lē How to pronounce stubbly (audio) \ adjective

Examples of stubble in a Sentence

He ran his hand over his stubble.
Recent Examples on the Web The maskless faces of the men—the stubble around their lips and cheeks, their gum-smacking and mint-sucking—now seem over-exposed in retrospect. Sophie Madeline Dess, The New Republic, "Temping for the One Percent," 24 June 2020 In females, for example, hormones present at ovulation can drive a woman to choose a cocky, confident man with a slight stubble and more masculine features. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "A woman's eggs choose lucky sperm during last moments of conception, study finds," 9 June 2020 The replaceable blade lasts up to four months and works for stubble as well as beards of any length. NBC News, "The best hair and beard trimmer for men, according to experts," 15 Apr. 2020 Swalwell has let his stubble grow out a bit from time to time in the past but usually appears clean-shaven in professional settings. Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner, "Politicians join 'quarantine beard' phenomenon," 20 Apr. 2020 Williams gives a winningly energetic performance as Charlotte, while James (who is a Hugo Boss cologne model) smolders adequately as the only 19th-century upper crust gentleman sporting a constant four-day stubble. Washington Post, "Jane Austen never finished ‘Sanditon,’ so PBS is happy to fluff it up and draw it out," 10 Jan. 2020 In pictures, the Tollund Man’s body appears startlingly fresh, with stubble on his chin and a violent expression on his face. Robert Rubsam, New York Times, "Letter of Recommendation: Bog Bodies," 24 Mar. 2020 Mechanical harvesters leave the rice stubble longer, so it cannot be ploughed in and must be burned. The Economist, "Three challengesEnvironmental, educational and administrative gridlock threaten India’s future," 24 Oct. 2019 In mulching, the crop stubble is first cut and collected. Amanat Khullar, Quartz India, "A solution to Delhi’s apocalyptic winters might just be in sight," 23 Dec. 2019

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for stubble

Last Updated

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stubble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for stubble


How to pronounce stubble (audio)

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 How to pronounce stubble (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on stubble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stubble

Spanish Central: Translation of stubble

Nglish: Translation of stubble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stubble for Arabic Speakers

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