1. the young of certain animals, as the bear, lion, or tiger.
  2. a young shark.
  3. a young and inexperienced person, especially a callow youth or young man.
  4. a young person serving as an apprentice.
  5. cub reporter.
  6. cub scout.
  7. (initial capital letter) Aeronautics, Trademark. any small, light monoplane with a high wing, a single engine, and an enclosed cabin.
verb (used without object), cubbed, cub·bing.
  1. to work as a cub reporter.
  2. (of a female bear, lion, tiger, etc.) to give birth to a cub or cubs.
  3. to hunt fox cubs.

Origin of cub

1520–30; perhaps < Scandinavian; compare Old Norse kobbi young seal, kubbr stump, hence, short, thick-set person
Related formscub·bish, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cubbish

Historical Examples of cubbish

British Dictionary definitions for cubbish


  1. the young of certain animals, such as the lion, bear, etc
  2. a young or inexperienced person
verb cubs, cubbing or cubbed
  1. to give birth to (cubs)
Derived Formscubbish, adjectivecubbishly, adverb

Word Origin for cub

C16: perhaps from Old Norse kubbi young seal; see cob 1


  1. short for Cub Scout
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

Word Origin and History for cubbish



1520s, cubbe "young fox," of unknown origin; perhaps from Old Irish cuib "whelp," or from Old Norse kobbi "seal." Extended to the young of bears, lions, etc., after 1590s. The native word was whelp. Cub Scout is from 1922.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper