adjective, knob·bi·er, knob·bi·est.

full of or covered with knobs: the knobby trunk of a tree.
shaped like a knob.

Origin of knobby

First recorded in 1535–45; knob + -y1
Related formsknob·bi·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for knobby

bumpy, knurled, lumpy

Examples from the Web for knobby

Historical Examples of knobby

  • His face was almost as hard and knobby as his stick; and so were his hands.

  • A man sprang at me and thrust something cold and knobby into my neckcloth.


    Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

  • And then its briny deeps ceased to swim with knobby condiments.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • They still caressed a knobby bit of metal in my overcoat pocket.

    The Pirate of Panama

    William MacLeod Raine

  • Jason clutched the knobby bark of the logs when he was left alone.


    Harry Harrison

British Dictionary definitions for knobby


adjective -bier or -biest

having or covered with small knobs; knobbly
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 knobby

1540s, from knob + -y (2). Alternative form knobbly attested from 1859. Related: Knobbiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper