a small, snug place.

Origin of cubbyhole

First recorded in 1835–45; cubby + hole Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for cubbyhole

category, niche, cranny, cubicle, nook

Examples from the Web for cubbyhole

Historical Examples of cubbyhole

  • Murgatroyd remained in his cubbyhole, his tail curled over his nose.

    Pariah Planet

    Murray Leinster

  • He went to sleep, with Murgatroyd curled up in his cubbyhole.

    Pariah Planet

    Murray Leinster

  • But he marched away, back to the cubbyhole in which he had awakened.

    Sand Doom

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

  • Back in his cubbyhole downstairs, Walter stared hopelessly at the reports.

    Meeting of the Board

    Alan Edward Nourse

  • He began to empty the cubbyhole of all the items that had been packed into it for storage.

    The Pirates of Ersatz

    Murray Leinster

British Dictionary definitions for cubbyhole



a small enclosed space or room
any small compartment, such as a pigeonhole
Often shortened to: cubby (ˈkʌbɪ)

Word Origin for cubbyhole

C19: from dialect cub cattle pen; see cove 1
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 cubbyhole

1825, the first element possibly from a diminutive of cub "stall, pen, cattle shed, coop, hutch" (1540s), a dialect word with apparent cognates in Low German (e.g. East Frisian kubbing, Dutch kub). Or related to cuddy "small room, cupboard" (1793), originally "small cabin in a boat" (1650s), from Dutch kajuit, from French cahute. Or perhaps simply a children's made-up word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper