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[luhb-er] /ˈlʌb ər/
a big, clumsy, stupid person; lout.
an awkward or unskilled sailor; landlubber.
clumsy; stupid; lubberly.
verb (used without object)
to behave like a lubber, especially in the handling of a boat.
Origin of lubber
First recorded in 1325-75, lubber is from the Middle English word lobre. See lob1, -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for lubber
Historical Examples
  • Wasn't there one Godforsaken lubber in the lot fit to raise a yell on a rope?

    The Shadow-Line Joseph Conrad
  • Port your helm, you lubber; don't you see where you're standing for?

    My New Curate P.A. Sheehan
  • Caesar no understand den what um mean, but um say—‘What’s dat, you lubber?

    Hunting the Skipper George Manville Fenn
  • The mate now complimented me by exclaiming, ‘Why, look at the lubber!’

    Cast Away in the Cold

    Isaac I. Hayes
  • Then he stared at me again, and cried: ‘Is that the lubber Hardy, of the Blackbird?’

    Cast Away in the Cold

    Isaac I. Hayes
  • But what impressed us most—we almost laughed to see her—was the lubber of the fleet.

    The U-boat hunters

    James B. Connolly
  • “Let go, you lubber,” said the sailor next to windward of Reuben, on the yard.

    Rattlin the Reefer Edward Howard
  • And as for my steering aright, why, with a compass—am I a lubber?'

    For Faith and Freedom Walter Besant
  • I ken the skipper of that there ship, and hes no lubber, no more than I be.

    Cradock Nowell, Vol. 2 (of 3) Richard Doddridge Blackmore
  • Well, what shall we do with this lubber—Lover, I should say?

British Dictionary definitions for lubber


a big, awkward, or stupid person
short for landlubber
Derived Forms
lubberly, adjective, adverb
lubberliness, noun
Word Origin
C14 lobre, probably from Scandinavian. See lob1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for lubber

mid-14c., "big, clumsy, stupid fellow who lives in idleness," from lobre, earlier lobi "lazy lout," probably of Scandinavian origin (cf. Swedish dialectal lubber "a plump, lazy fellow"). But OED suggests a possible connection with Old French lobeor "swindler, parasite," with sense altered by association with lob (n.) in the "bumpkin" sense. A sailors' word since 16c. (cf. landlubber), but earliest attested use is of lazy monks (cf. abbey-lubber). Cf. also lubberwort, the name of the mythical herb that produces laziness (1540s); and Lubberland "imaginary land of plenty without work" (1590s). Sometimes also Lubbard (1580s).


1520s, from lubber (n.). Related: Lubbered; lubbering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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