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

As anyone who's ever held a razor knows, stubble will quickly return — sometimes within a matter of hours. Kayleigh Donahue, Allure, "Allure's Guide to Hair Removal From Your Brows to Your Bikini Line," 6 June 2018 Not a beard, not five o'clock shadow, but carefully groomed stubble that's always the same exact length. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'I Can Only Imagine': Film Review," 16 Mar. 2018 People sealed the deal as god intended, with Elba on the cover wearing a chunky knit cardigan and showcasing his resplendent salt-and-pepper stubble. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Idris Elba Is (Finally) People’s Sexiest Man Alive," 6 Nov. 2018 For me, my inflammation began to subside five days post-treatment, just as the tiniest prickle of stubble started growing back on my upper lip. Jessica Defino, Marie Claire, "I Got My Face Shaved With a Scalpel in the Name of Smooth Skin," 11 Sep. 2018 Even with stubble on his chin and lips, Machado’s face looked boyish. Ronald Blum, The Seattle Times, "Manny the Masher, Manny the Miscreant & Macho Manny," 23 Oct. 2018 Farmers often burn crop stubble after the rice harvest to clear their fields and restore soil nutrients. Umair Irfan, Vox, "New Delhi is once again the most polluted city on Earth," 8 Nov. 2018 If hair-removal is on your mind this summer, there's a lot to go over: underarm fuzz, coarse arm hair, leg stubble, the bikini area and more. Sam Escobar, Good Housekeeping, "Your Ultimate Body Hair Removal Guide," 17 July 2018 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

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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Statistics for stubble

Last Updated

24 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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

Comments on stubble

What made you want to look up stubble? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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