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[stuhb-uh l] /ˈstʌb əl/
Usually, stubbles. the stumps of grain and other stalks left in the ground when the crop is cut.
such stumps collectively.
any short, rough growth, as of beard.
Origin of stubble
1250-1300; Middle English stuble < Old French estuble < Vulgar Latin *stupula, Latin stipula stipule
Related forms
stubbled, stubbly, adjective
unstubbled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for stubbly
Historical Examples
  • The palm of his hand rasped a stubbly chin as he looked askance at me.

    The Pirate of Panama William MacLeod Raine
  • It seemed an age while I was crossing the short, stubbly grass of the Meadows.

    The Dew of Their Youth S. R. Crockett
  • He was a little man, all muscles and hands and feet, with a gray-red, stubbly beard.

    Sixes and Sevens

    O. Henry
  • "That's right," agreed the older man, rubbing his stubbly beard with his hand.

    A Texas Ranger William MacLeod Raine
  • The stubbly chins were all smooth, and that makes a great difference.

  • The man smiled as he ran a hand over his stubbly two-day-old beard.

  • His face was pale, haggard and, like the Aztec crewmen's, covered with stubbly beard.

    First on the Moon Jeff Sutton
  • Sprawled on the bed, fully clothed was a man with a stubbly beard.

  • "No more blinkin' camps for me," said the man with the stubbly chin.

    Mrs. Bindle Hebert Jenkins
  • "But watch this ruddy cow," broke in the man with the stubbly chin.

    Mrs. Bindle Hebert Jenkins
British Dictionary definitions for stubbly


  1. the stubs of stalks left in a field where a crop has been cut and harvested
  2. (as modifier): a stubble field
any bristly growth or surface
Derived Forms
stubbly, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French estuble, from Latin stupula, variant of stipula stalk, stem, stubble
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 stubbly



c.1300, "stumps of grain stalks left in the ground after reaping," from Old French estuble "stubble" (French éteule), from Latin stupla, reduced form of stipula "stalk, straw;" related to stipes "trunk, stick." Applied from c.1600 to bristles on a man's unshaven face.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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